AAA: 3rd busiest travel season for drivers since 2000 set for Thanksgiving

AAA: 3rd busiest travel season for drivers since 2000 set for Thanksgiving
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Thanksgiving is just days away.

Millions of Americans will take to the roads and skies to join loved ones before the holidays.

If you plan to travel for Thanksgiving by car this year, Monday is the best and least crowded day to get where you need to go.

RELATED: AAA says 55 million Americans expected to travel for Thanksgiving, near pre-pandemic volume

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

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

They say that’s 1.5% more than in 2021, making this year the third busiest travel season for the Thanksgiving holiday since the year 2000.

“The best times to hit the road are really before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m., you’re going to see peak times between and 4:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” said AAA spokeswoman Paula Twidale. “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 4-5 p.m. on Interstate-80 eastbound from Maritime Street near the Bay Bridge toll plaza to San Pablo Dam Road.

Before hitting the road, AAA reminds drivers to pack essentials like safety kit, diapers, extra water and snacks.

For those flying to their Thanksgiving destinations, Scott’s Cheap Flights says flights are fuller today than they were before the pandemic, meaning don’t expect to have that empty middle seat next to you.

Although delays do occur, they say they aren’t too concerned about cancellations and disruptions.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that airline operations have improved and we’re not going to see the same meltdowns we saw earlier this year,” said Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “Even in the worst of times, more than 97% of flights work. The odds are still very favorable.”

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