RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Travel is expected to be at a high with a projection of over 50 million travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA.
AAA projects 55.4 million travelers to travel 50 miles or more from their homes over the Thanksgiving holiday. This prediction is a 2.3% increase compared to last year, marking the third-highest Thanksgiving forecast since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.
According to AAA, 49.1 million Americans will drive to their destinations, a 1.7% increase compared to last year. AAA says drivers could be paying less for gas around the Thanksgiving holiday when the national average last year was $3.58.
AAA expects 4.7 million to fly by plane, which is a 6.6% increase compared to last year and the highest number of Thanksgiving air travelers since 2005.
Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Wednesday, Nov. 21, are expected to be the busiest and most expensive air travel days, with Sunday, Nov. 26, and Monday, Nov. 27, will be the busiest days to return home, according to AAA.
AAA also said 1.3 million will travel by other modes such as by cruise, bus and train, which is an 11% increase over the last year.
INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, says travelers should be prepared for long delays on the road the day before Thanksgiving. According to INRIX, Wednesday, Nov. 22 will be the busiest day on the road, with average travel times as high as 80% over normal in some metro areas.
INRIX recommends leaving in the morning or after 6 p.m. to avoid the heaviest holiday road congestion and advises drivers to use traffic apps, notifications from local departments of transportation and 511 services for live road updates.