AA Ireland is urging motorists to be extra cautious as the Christmas exodus begins, with commuter traffic on main routes around the country to peak today and into the weekend.
While 23 December is usually the busiest day for travel, AA Ireland said that because Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday this year many people are expected to take Monday and Tuesday off and begin travelling home from today.
Today and tomorrow are expected to be busier on routes across the country as those commuting home start their journeys.
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Motorways are expected to be very busy, as well as main routes out of cities including Dublin, Cork and Galway.
Iarnród Éireann expects up to 400,000 Intercity journeys to be made across the network over the Christmas and New Year period.
Late night DART and commuter services will operate this weekend an on New Year's Eve.
Passengers should book online if possible and allow extra time at stations ahead of their journey.
?? Christmas and New Year rail service arrangements 24th December 2019 to 1st January 2020— Iarnród Éireann (@IrishRail) December 18, 2019
Remember: Check times before travel on all routes on all dates at https://t.co/r50m2431AZ pic.twitter.com/QCJDB5Umid
Meanwhile, Dublin Airport is expecting almost 1.2 million people to arrive at and depart over the festive season.
Other airports around the country are also expecting high passenger numbers over the next week or so.
AA Ireland is urging motorists exercise additional caution, particularly when driving on routes they may be less familiar with and to watch out for icy roads, stay up-to-date with weather forecasts, and to watch out for vulnerable road users.
AA Rescue is anticipating over 300 breakdowns per day in the build-up to Christmas.
AA Ireland is also reminding motorists who are planning a long-distance journey to check that their tyres and lights.
It said not all service stations are open on Christmas Day and advised people to remember to fuel-up in advance using the correct fuel type.
To avoid the hassle of a flat battery, it says to switch off all headlights, interior lights, heaters and the radio when leaving your car.
AA Ireland also advises people to keep a pair of jump leads in the boot in case of an emergency and to prepare a safety kit, ensuring having a de-icer and a torch.