My husband and I are headed to the white sandy beaches and the beautiful emerald waters of the Florida coast for the week soon, but we know the worst part of the vacation is getting through Baton Rouge and the requisite traffic.

Not only do we risk hitting the area at a time when every person who lives there is trying to get somewhere, we are also traveling on the day other vacationers are heading for their own personal relaxation time. It exponentially increases our chances of adding hours to a trip that should take about six hours.

Another potential snafu in the travel time is the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. Heaven forbid there's an accident on that structure!

The thought of all those possible fits and starts is nearly enough to make a person want to scrap it all, buy a kiddie pool, and lounge in the back yard.

I've lived in south Louisiana my entire life. I've traveled I-10 across the state and been stuck in traffic along that stretch more than I care to remember.

Luckily, I ran into a friend in the grocery store this week who reminded me of a less-traveled, more scenic route that may solve our travel woes: U.S. Highway 190.

This particular highway traverses the state. One could, conceivably, hop on wherever  you begin your journey and stay on it all the way to the Louisiana/Mississippi line. I'm told the entire way is quite scenic.

However, my friend's suggestion (and I agree with him) is to take I-10 to Lafayette, exit at I-49 north to Opelousas, get on HWY 190 east, and continue on HWY 190 until you cross over the Mississippi in Baton Rouge. I've included the directions as outlined by Mapquest below.

mapquest.com

The map I am including in this article shows where to merge back on to I-12 at the 10/12 split, essentially bypassing the "big bridge" and the majority of the Baton Rouge traffic.

For the purpose of this article, the destination is Hammond, but you would continue on your journey to your particular vacation spot from there.

In terms of timing, the HWY 190 route is about 20 minutes or so longer, but the risk of you getting stuck in a traffic jam on the road less traveled around Baton Rouge is far less likely.

Remember to buckle up and drive carefully, no matter which route you take.

Happy travels!

mapquest.com