Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, meaning millions of Americans will travel near and far to celebrate the holiday. The number of people traveling this holiday is predicted to increase this year. An estimated 54.6 million Americans are hitting the roads this Thanksgiving, according to a recent report by AAA.

Paula Twidale, AAA’s Senior Vice President of Travel, says, “Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades. Plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you’re driving or flying.”

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Thanksgiving road trips

The majority of travelers are driving to their Thanksgiving destinations this year. About 49 million Americans are expected to travel by car. This number is up 0.4% from last year but is still 2.5% below 2019 levels. 

Air travel

Spirit airlines

4.5 million Americans will be choosing air travel as their mode of transportation this Thanksgiving. This number has increased by more than 330,000 since last year. 

“Anticipate long TSA lines. If possible, avoid checking a bag to allow for more flexibility if flights are delayed, or you need to reschedule,” says Twidale. 

Other modes of transportation

1.4 million Americans are choosing other modes of transportation this year. Travelers are heading to their Thanksgiving destination via bus, train, or cruise ship. This number is a 23% increase from 2021. 

“With travel restrictions lifted and more people comfortable taking public transportation again, it’s no surprise buses, trains, and cruises are coming back in a big way,” says Twidale.

Twidale continues, “Regardless of the mode of transportation you have chosen, expect crowds during your trip and at your destination. If your schedule is flexible, consider off-peak travel times during the holiday rush.” 

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