This Thanksgiving will be the 3rd busiest for drivers since 2000, AAA projects

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Monday, November 21, 2022
AAA: Third busiest travel season since 2000 projected for Thanksgiving
According to Google Maps data from 2021, if you're traveling by car, the best time to start your Thanksgiving drive is anytime after 8 p.m. on Monday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Thanksgiving is now just a few days away.

Millions of Americans will be taking to the roads and skies to get to their loved ones before the holiday.

If you're planning on traveling for Thanksgiving by car this year, Monday is the best and least congested day to get to where you need to go.

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According to Google Maps data from 2021, the best time to start your Thanksgiving drive is anytime after 8 p.m. on Monday.

AAA is predicting 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday, with the majority traveling by car.

They say, that's one and a half percent higher than 2021 making this year, the third busiest travel season for the Thanksgiving holiday since the year 2000.

"The best times to take to the roads is really before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. you're going to see peak travel times between and 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday," Paula Twidale, a spokesperson for AAA said. "And then Wednesday is the absolute peak day for travel, about 42% higher than normal volume."

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AAA says the worst time to travel by car here in the bay area is Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m. on eastbound Interstate-80 from Maritime Street near the Bay Bridge toll plaza to San Pablo Dam Road.

Before hitting the roads, AAA reminds drivers to pack the essentials like a safety kit, layers, extra water, and snacks.

For those flying to their Thanksgiving destinations, Scott's Cheap Flights says flights are more full today than they were pre-pandemic, meaning don't expect to have that empty middle seat next to you anymore.

Although delays happen, they say to not be too concerned about cancellations and disruptions.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that air travel operations have improved and that we're not going to see the same meltdowns that we saw earlier this year," Scott Keyes, Founder of Scott's Cheap Flights said. "Even at the worst of times, still over 97% of flights are operating. The odds are still very much in your favor."

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