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Worried about traffic? Use the web to gauge your travel times

SmarterTravel

If you’re traveling to a big city in the near future, especially one known for its traffic, you may want to check a few online traffic tools before you go.

By studying heavily traveled routes, alternative highways, and scenic byways, you can make the most of your time at your destination, rather than wasting it sitting in traffic.

  • Traffic.com lets you register for alerts on specific routes, which are then sent to your PC, PDA, cell phone, or landline. Alerts can also be sent via text message. Or, just visit the site to see real-time traffic reports for major cities, estimated drive times between points, and more.
  • TrafficLand shows camera views of city thoroughfares across the United States, as well as in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, and the U.K. Register with the site to save your “favorite” cameras—a smart strategy if you want to see how congested certain routes get before you arrive.
  • Websites for local newspapers or television news stations often provide up-to-the-minute traffic reports. These can give you a quick snapshot of high-congestion areas, commute times, and accidents. Google your destination city and “local news” to get a listing of area news bureaus.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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