The German motoring association ADAC said this week that serious traffic jams should be expected on motorways, particularly when heading south or to the northern, coastal areas.
In particular, the ADAC warned that the A1 in the Hamburg area and between Cologne and Hamburg would be very busy, while the A5 between Frankfurt and Basel, the A8 between Karlsruhe and Salzburg could be jammed, as well as the A9 between Berlin and Munich, the A10 around Berlin and the A24 between Berlin and Wittstock.
An ADAC spokeswoman said the peak travel times were expected to be Thursday afternoon, Friday and then again Monday as people head back home. She suggested people consider leaving early on Thursday or try to use Saturday to travel.
But drivers should expect to pay more for the pleasure of sitting in a traffic jam in the sunshine, their car’s engine idling away, as fuel prices are likely to reach peak prices over the weekend with petrol companies taking advantage of the holiday travel.
“Holidaymakers should either fill up their cars now or drive so they arrive in Austria with an empty tank, as petrol is a bit cheaper there,” said the ADAC spokeswoman.
Prices could reach the dizzy heights of €1.59 a litre over the weekend, she warned.
Another ADAC spokesman was on hand to offer advice to drivers – and their passengers – on how to avoid getting too stressed out during their Easter holiday trips.
“Drivers should seriously consider whether they can handle the stress or whether it might be worth simply leaving it,” said Otto Saalmann.
When serious traffic jams threaten to turn a journey into a nightmare, he suggested drivers get off the motorway and go instead to a nearby town to see the local attractions, only returning to the main route after the jam was gone.
“Driving a car is demanding, driving in a jam is stressful,” he said, adding that drivers should take a break every two hours.
Those who find it all simply too much can call in at one of Germany’s 38 autobhan churches which are run by the Academy of Brotherly Aid in Kassel.
Apparently most of the visitors taking a spontaneous trip off the motorway to the church, and according to the Academy, are married Catholic men.