Tips for safe travels during this record-breaking week

NEW ORLEANS - If you’re headed out of town for the holiday weekend, you are part of a record-breaking holiday weekend in terms of travel.

Travelers taking flight this week are likely to have scored a deal on their tickets.

“We’re seeing prices now that are probably the cheapest for airfare that we’ve seen in five years,” says Don Redman, of AAA Public Affairs.

Meanwhile, there’s mixed news for the more than five million folks in the Southern region who will be hitting the road, especially in Louisiana: Right now, gas is cheaper than it was Memorial Day weekend and when it comes to lowest average gas prices across the country, Louisiana comes in fourth.

The bad news? Triple A says that this week it will answer stranded driver calls to the tune of 362,000 people — for three main reasons: flat tires, dead batteries and lock-outs.

Solutions, according to Redman, include giving a spare key to another passenger, and giving your car a thorough checkup before you hit the road.

With so many motorists seeking help in the high heat, he also recommends road tripping with a cooler of cold water.

“It could take 45 minutes or so for help to arrive,” says Redman.

Avoid city rush hours by leaving early — or late — and remember to take turns driving for safety’s sake.

If you thought falling on a Wednesday (hump day!) would make the holiday challenging for globetrotters, think again.

“Historically, whenever the holiday falls on a Wednesday it’s actually a very good time for people who want to take the entire week off, because they’re only essentially burning four days of vacation, or wait until the 4th of July and have a very extended weekend,” says Redman.

Popular destinations for AAA members who live in Louisiana include Alaska (cruises!), Italy and Ireland. Closer to home, state parks, amusement parks and the Gulf Coast are sure to see crowds.