…NOT the day before Thanksgiving! It’s definitely busy, but not usually the busiest. In the U.S., long-distance travel goes up by 54 percent during the six days from the Tuesday prior to the Sunday following Thanksgiving Day, according to data by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
The vast majority of Americans traveling for their holiday, about 91 percent of long-distance trips, are made by vehicle, according to BTS. The data show that, for those road-tripping their way to their turkey, Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) is the busiest travel day that week, followed by Saturday and then Friday. The least-traveled days that week are Tuesday and Sunday.
For those flying, the conventional wisdom holds true, with Wednesday and Sunday of Thanksgiving week experiencing the longest airport lines. Travel guides consistently rank the Sunday of Thanksgiving week among the worst days to book a flight.
This Thanksgiving is projected to see the highest volume of travel during the holiday week over the last dozen years. AAA expects that 50 million Americans will be traveling around Thanksgiving this year between Wednesday and Sunday. (That includes multiple modes of transportation.) More than 45 million drivers are expected to be on the road, and another 5 million will take to the skies and rails. Overall, it’s a 3.3 percent increase from last year, and the most number of total travelers since 2005.
However, and whenever you’re traveling, be careful. It would be a horrible holiday for your family if you were unable to make it to your destination safely. Happy Thanksgiving!