Plan Ahead If You’re Traveling This Thanksgiving

by Mackenzie Stasko on November 22, 2013 at 6:44 am

The AAA Auto Club is expecting 43.4 million Americans to be traveling this Thanksgiving, including 1.68 million Ohioans. AAA Spokeswoman Kimberly Schwind, says that’s a decrease of 1.5 percent nationally and 1.7 percent in Ohio. Although it’s a small decrease from last year’s numbers, Schwind says the number of travelers has been gradually climbing since the recession. If you’re traveling this holiday season, Schwind says the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest day to travel.

Schwind explained, "We see 37 percent of people leaving on that day. Roadways are going to be packed. Coming home the Sunday after Thanksgiving, December 1st, is going to be quite busy as well. So if you are gong to be traveling on either of these days, really expect for delays whether you’re flying or driving, just expect it to take longer."

If you’re flying, Schwind says airports will be packed the Monday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving. She says to arrive about two hours early for your flight and to expect delays. Of the 1.68 million Ohioans traveling, Schwind says 90 percent will be driving, which means with more people out on the roadways, it’s a peak time for accidents.

"It is going to be quite crowded on the roadways throughout the entire Thanksgiving holiday period. So with that extra traffic comes extra breakdowns and extra crashes as well. So you really have to be careful on the roadways. You also have to plan ahead and expect it to take longer than usual to get where you’re going."

Schwind says with the lower gas prices, more people will be out shopping and taking advantage of the lower gas prices.