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AAA has released its official Thanksgiving predictions, saying that over 54 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the 2022 holiday.
The data showed that 54.6 million people are expected to visit friends and family during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, which is defined as the five-day period from November 23 to November 27.
The estimated number of travelers for 2022 is 1.5 percent higher than in 2021, 98 percent of pre-pandemic volumes and the third busiest since AAA started tracking in 2000. Of the Americans hitting the road for Thanksgiving, nearly 49 million are expected to travel by car.
“Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” AAA Senior Vice President of Travel Paula Twidale said. “Plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you’re driving or flying.”
An estimated 4.5 million people will travel via plane during the holiday, an eight percent increase from 2021 and nearly 99 percent of the 2019 volume. Another 1.4 million travelers are going out of town for Thanksgiving by bus, train or cruise ship.
As for the best times to travel, AAA found that traveling early in the morning on Wednesday or before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day will help avoid severe congestion on the roads. Data also shows that people should avoid travel between 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for road trips, and this year will be no different,” INRIX Transportation Analyst Bob Pishue said. “Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the holiday weekend.”
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