AAA says 54.3 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving this year. This is 4.8 percent more than last year.
“Consumers have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season: higher wages, more disposable income and rising levels of household wealth,” Carol DiOrio, AAA Western and Central New York vice president of travel, said. “This is translating into more travelers kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway, building on a positive year for the travel industry.”
Most people, 48.5 million of them, are expected to travel by automobile. Another 4.27 million are expected to fly, and another 1.48 million are expected to take a train, bus or cruise ship.
The early evening commute period is expected to be the time with the greatest congestion. Travel times are expected to increase on the Monday before Thanksgiving.
The best days to travel will be Thanksgiving Day itself, and the following Friday and Saturday. Travel times are expected to increase on Sunday.
“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for road trips, and this year will be no different,” says Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid commuting times in major cities altogether or plan alternative routes.”