You’re not crazy. Every year, journalists write about how “Thanksgiving travel is at a new high.” (We’re guilty on occasion, too.) But this year, 54 million people—a whopping 2.5 million more people than last year—are hitting the road and the skies for Thanksgiving, the highest its been since 2005, AAA reports. While we lovea good road trip, all those people are going to make holiday travel even more of a headache. Just think of the TSA lines…
Most people will be driving, according to AAA, with 48.5 million getting behind the wheel. Travel time starts to increase the Monday before Thanksgiving, and it could take you four times as long to get to your destination if you drive at peak time (Tuesday or Wednesday for most major cities), reports INRIX, a global mobility analytics company. You’re better off leaving early on Thanksgiving Day, and heading home Friday or Saturday, says AAA. Sunday after the November holiday will be the worst time to leave—so have some podcasts on deck for the extra-long ride home.
About 4.27 million travelers will fly this season, up more than five percent from last year—so airports will be far from empty. Hopefully you’ve already bought your flights (the best time to buy was more than a month ago). Maybe you’re one of the adventurers who booked for the lightest travel day of the week: Thanksgiving itself. We know, the thought of it sounds nerve-wracking at best, but you’ll have the airport to yourself—and there’s solidarity among those jetting at the last minute together. Just like at Christmas, flying on the actual holiday is the best way to avoid crowds. Most of those more than four million passengers will take off Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so plan ahead for long lines at security—we’d guess that even TSA PreCheck lines will be longer than usual, too.
Trains aren’t exempt, either. Amtrak is adding more high-speed Acelas between Boston and Washington, D.C. (with a stop in New York on the way) and Northeast Regional (between Boston and Virginia Beach) trains will have extended schedules during the week of Thanksgiving to accommodate more passengers. The national train service experienced its busiest day in history last Thanksgiving, with more than 160,000 travelers on the rails the Sunday after the holiday. This year, it’s expecting similar crowds in the northeast, and about 777,000 riders around the country. (Still sounds better than sitting in highway traffic along the same routes.) If you’re going by rail, Amtrak recommends you arrive 45 minutes before departure, and know that you can bring two bags and two carry-on (up to 150 lbs.) for free.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
Source: Read Full Article