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Tips to help you navigate a jam-packed Thanksgiving travel rush

55 million people will be traveling this holiday
Posted at 12:39 PM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 23:53:08-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Are you planning on heading, "over the river and thru the woods" this Thanksgiving? Well, plan on having plenty of company!

More than 55-million travelers will be taking to the roads and skies this Thanksgiving, according to AAA, marking the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since the company started tracking travel in 2000.

According to recent data by AAA, the majority of holiday travelers will be driving to their destinations. Meantime,INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects Wednesday afternoon (November 27) to be the heaviest travel period nationally, with trips taking as much as four times longer than normal in major metro areas.

So here are some tips from AAA to help make your holiday travels as smooth as possible:

Nothing worse than Wednesday: Times NOT to be on the road (Courtesy: AAA)
For the 49.3 million Americans traveling by automobile, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts major delays throughout the week, peaking Wednesday with trips taking as much four times longer as commuters mix with travelers.

“With record levels of travelers, and persistent population growth in the country’s major metropolitan areas, drivers must prepare for major delays,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the week.”

Lower gas prices fuel road trips; AAA to rescue more than 368,000: (Courtesy: AAA)
Gas prices have been fluctuating as of late, but are currently cheaper than the national average at this time last year, giving Americans a little extra money to spend on travel and motivating millions to take road trips. For the majority of Americans, AAA expects gas prices to be fairly similar to last year's Thanksgiving holiday, which averaged $2.57 nationally.

Travel tip for the friendly skies: (Courtesy: AAA)
Fly Monday before Thanksgiving. A recent analysis of AAA’s flight booking data from the last three years revealed that flying the Monday before the Thanksgiving travel rush is the best option for travelers. It has the lowest average ticket price ($486) prior to the holiday and is a lighter travel day than later in the week. Travelers can also save by traveling on Thanksgiving Day, which has the week’s lowest average price per ticket ($454).