Thanksgiving Travel Will Be the Worst in a Decade!

Here's Exactly When to Leave to Miss the Mess!

November 19, 2018



Oh boy traveling during the holidays is crazy so first and foremost pack a lot of patience and give yourself a lot of time because lines will be long! 

Triple A is reporting travel this Thanksgiving, be it airport, train or roads, it will be the most crowded since 2005. AAA estimates about 54 million Americans will be traveling more- an increase of 5 percent from last year, which comes out to about 2.5 million more people hitting the road. Yikes!

The majority of holiday travelers, around 48.5 million, will be doing it via car, followed by air, with around 4.27 million (the largest growth by the way, that's up 5.4 percent), then the remainder taking trains, buses and even cruise ships, that number is at 1.48 million travelers, up by 1.4 percent. 

 Travel + Leisure reports Airlines 4 America, an industry organization, estimates a substantial growth in air travel, but their stats indicate the growth is higher  from 29 million last year to 30.6 million this year.  They estimate 2.55 million people flying every day between Friday, Nov. 16 through Tuesday, Nov. 27 — at least 137,000 more people at the airports daily than in 2017. Holy moly that's a lot of people flying!

So when is the craziest day to travel? Well, in the U.S., the busiest day will be the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, while Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Friday, Nov. 16 will likely also be heavy with travelers.

Why the increase in traveling well, it's the economy! According to the senior vice president of AAA, Bill Sutherland, speculates the increase is due to “higher wages, more disposable income and rising levels of household wealth” this year than in previous years. Meanwhile, A4A says it’s because flights are cheaper than ever after adjusting for inflation.

So now what? How do you avoid the headaches that come with busy traveling? Triple A created a list of the worst days and times to leave 10 primary metropolitan areas in the country — as well as which highways to avoid and how long you may be delayed. The main factor give yourself plenty of time so you don't stress. 

I've discovered traveling on the day of the holiday is a breeze. T+L recommends traveling on Thanksgiving day if you can swing it, when only 1.73 million passengers will fly (the lowest of the week) or signing up for TSA pre-check so you can skip security lines. Of course, isn't that the day we're traveling to begin with?

Whatever you decide to do, planning is key, leave lots of time, and don't stress, getting there is all that matters. Enjoy the moment and your family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving! ~grace