It could get busy again on Germany’s expressways at the weekend. With the start of the Easter holidays in eleven federal states, the first big wave of travel of the year begins. The risk of traffic jams is greatly increased, as reported by the General German Automobile Club of Germany (ADAC). Accordingly, travel traffic will increase significantly between March 22nd and 24th, especially on the highways towards the Alps and the sea.

In the direction of the Austrian and Swiss Alps, there is a risk of traffic jams, especially on the Brenner, Tauern and Gotthard routes. According to traffic experts, the Tauern Autobahn in particular is a traffic jam because several tunnels are being renovated at the same time. There could also be long traffic jams at the Achen Pass. The metering traffic light, which only allows a fraction of the cars there, is to be reinstalled on Saturday, March 23rd.

Anyone who travels by car will need a little more patience than usual during the Easter holidays. Although the automobile club is not expecting major traffic chaos at the start of the holiday, it will not be possible to avoid one or two traffic jams in Germany. But there are ways to make traveling by car as stress-free – and traffic jam-free – as possible. How is that supposed to work? We have a few ideas.

Driving off when everyone else is asleepWhen it comes to traffic jams, the most important thing is getting the timing right. The streets get full, especially at the start of the holidays, because everyone goes on vacation with their suitcases packed. The risk of traffic jams is highest during the day. If you want a quieter journey, you should try to cover as much of the route as possible at night. This also means you avoid the possible rush-hour traffic and day-trippers that fill the streets during the day.

Don’t just trust one navigation app. Which navigation app we give our orientation to is a matter of taste. However, if you want to recognize a traffic jam as early as possible so that you can avoid it, it is worth having several apps on your smartphone so that you can check the route several times. Sometimes it happens that a traffic jam is not recognized by all navigation systems at the same time. The alternative routes are also very different – so it’s worth investing more time in route planning so that you don’t end up getting lost in traffic.

Also give country roads a chance Speaking of alternative routes: If there is a traffic jam on the motorway, apps often suggest a detour via the country road. These are not always recommended as they are used by many drivers. Instead, it is worth checking out possible alternative routes before departure, which can serve as an individual detour in the event of a traffic jam. There are always several ways to reach your goal. And if you have a plan B or even C, you don’t have to rely on detours that just drive you from one traffic jam to another.

Drive the way you want others to drive. Anyone who sits behind the wheel in Germany has attended driving school at some point. However, we tend to forget how best to behave in traffic in order to avoid a traffic jam in the first place. Even small things can help prevent traffic from coming to a standstill. For example, sticking to the zipper behavior and not using the left lane permanently, but only for overtaking.

However, sometimes even the best preparation and the greatest flexibility don’t help – you end up stuck in a traffic jam with the hazard lights on. This often causes a certain amount of resentment among the car’s occupants – and perhaps even reduces the anticipation of the upcoming vacation. Instead of getting upset about the inevitable holiday traffic jams, you can also sweeten your time in traffic jams – at least a little. For example like this:

It’s all about the right preparation. The traffic jam warning is now out – so there is no longer any excuse for not preparing for the traffic jam. And it’s not that complicated at all. It makes a big difference if you have snacks, drinks and maybe a few games with you on the go to keep your passengers occupied while you wait. It’s also worth having a charging cable in your car so that you don’t run out of juice if the traffic jam takes longer than expected.

Take your favorite music with you or turn on the radio. Music makes many things better – even a traffic jam. Songs that reliably put you in a good mood are particularly helpful here – but the radio can also make a big difference, especially if you’re alone in a traffic jam. Apart from the entertainment factor, the radio has another advantage: updates about traffic jams are usually communicated quickest here. So it helps to know when the wait is over – and the journey can continue. Adjusting your own expectations How much things stress us depends largely on how we evaluate them. Sure, a traffic jam is anything but fun, especially when you’re on the way to a well-deserved vacation. But all the excitement, no matter how justified it may be, probably won’t clear up the traffic jam. So it helps to be aware that the end (of traffic jams) is in sight and to look forward to what’s to come: the long-awaited vacation.

Sometimes, however, even the best companionship during traffic jams doesn’t help – boredom eventually becomes a mood killer. To prevent this from occurring in the first place, there are a number of games that are easy to play in traffic jams. These are our three favorites:

I see something you don’t seeThe classic anti-boredom in the car. One passenger picks an object and has the others in the car guess what it is. To do this, they ask him questions about his appearance; the person whose turn it is is only allowed to answer “yes” or “no”. Whoever guesses correctly is next in line.

Who sang that again? This is about music. The goal is to correctly guess the song on the radio or on the playlist – or to continue singing at will. Karaoke light, so to speak.

Taboo to go – or driveA passenger explains a term to the others without mentioning it or a related one. Whoever guesses correctly is next in line.