A combination of factors is leading the AAA to release a report that it expects holiday car travel to be the highest it has been since 2006. Among these factors are increased costs for air travel, tighter budgets (which means shorter trips rather than trips across the country) and a sudden decline in the price of gasoline.

In fact, gasoline prices have been plummeting across the country where some stations are already selling gasoline below the $3 a gallon mark

AAA predicts that more than 91 million drivers will hit the road for the holidays. That means nearly one third of all Americans will be making some sort of road trip for the Christmas holiday, just shy of the record year of travel 2006. That means if you are planning to travel this holiday season you will likely find congested roadways just about every where you go.

Fortunately, if you take some special precautions, you can avoid unexpected delays and arrive at your destination on time and safe:

1. Leave Early: Don’t until the last minute to get started on your trip. The sooner you can leave the sooner you will get where you are going and the less impact any traffic congestion will have on your trip. Also, consider timing your trip so you are not moving through urban areas (where traffic is more likely) during peak travel times, like rush hour.

2. Prepare Your Vehicle: Be certain you check out your vehicle before your trip so you can be confident it will get you where you are going. Check the oil, the radiator fluid and the tire pressure. Also, check your spare tire and jack just in case you need to use them. If this is a long trip consider packing a spare gas can, an extra gallon of water, flashlight and emergency kit.

3. Call Ahead: Contact someone at your destination ahead of time and let them know when you expect to arrive and what route you are taking to get there. In the event you have trouble along the way people will know where to find you. Also, be sure to take a mobile phone with you. It comes in handy if you run out gas in the middle of nowhere.