An estimated 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, according to AAA.
The 2018 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005, with 2.5 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails, and waterways compared with last year — a 4.8 percent increase.
“The thriving economy is giving travelers a lot to be thankful for this year,” says Jim Lehman, president of AAA East Central. “Two-and-a-half million more Americans will have the chance this year to create new lasting memories with their families and friends, which is very exciting to see.”
The Thanksgiving holiday period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Nov. 25.
Based on historical and recent travel trends, analytics firm INRIX and AAA predict drivers will experience the greatest of congestion nationwide Thanksgiving week during the early evening commute period, with travel times starting to increase on Monday.
In most cases, the best days to travel will be on Thanksgiving Day, Friday, or Saturday.
Drivers should expect increased travel times on Sunday as most holiday travelers will be making their way home after the long weekend.
Motorists can also expect to pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices in four years, with a national average of $2.745 as of Nov. 7, up by 21 cents since last year’s holiday.