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LOS ANGELES – The AAA predicts that more than 53.4 million people are expected to travel, the largest increase in a single year since 2005. This weekend marked the start of pre-holiday traffic and the AAA is warning travelers be proactive when making their travel plans. holiday season.

“Travel for Thanksgiving will be very different from last year,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “Now that borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again at the top of the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with loved ones for the holidays. “

With 6.4 million more people traveling for Thanksgiving and the recent opening of U.S. borders to fully immunized international travelers, people should be prepared for roads and airports to be noticeably more congested.

In general, the worst times to travel on Wednesday will be from noon to 8 p.m., while the best time to travel is after 9 p.m., according to INRIX.

Among the 10 worst freeway sections in the country on Wednesday, one in the Los Angeles area stands out: the 5 Freeway southbound between Colorado Street and Florence Avenue in Los Angeles, which is expected to see 385% more than normal traffic. between 3:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., according to INRIX.

However, anyone exiting Southern California – regardless of which freeway they take – will likely encounter traffic this Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, according to the Auto Club.

“Drivers should expect longer travel times during these times and plan to leave early,” says AAA.

Triple A has some tips and suggestions:

Be proactive. Book your flights, car rentals, accommodation and other activities as early as possible. Prices are not going down and are still somewhat affected by limited flight capacity and staffing issues facing many industries. Consider working with a travel advisor who can make last-minute changes to your travel plans, explore travel insurance options, and help you plan a trip that meets your needs and comfort level during this time. festivals.

  • Air“Even though air travel has seen an increase this year, AAA finds that the lowest average airfare is 27.3% lower than last year at $ 132. Tuesday and Wednesday remain the most expensive and heaviest travel days, with Monday being the lightest and cheapest. Those looking to book a last-minute trip will find the best rates about two weeks before Thanksgiving, but be aware that availability may be limited.
  • Hotels—Mid-range hotel rates have increased by about 39%, with average nightly rates ranging from $ 137 to $ 172 for AAA-approved hotels.
  • Car rental—Daily car rental rates are up 4% from last Thanksgiving to $ 98. Over the summer, consumers experienced high costs and limited availability of rental cars in some markets, due to the shortage of semiconductor chips affecting automakers. While this shortage has eased, it is possible that it will return as the holidays approach.

Be patient. Roads and airports will be busy, so plan ahead.

  • Get to the airport early so you have plenty of time to clear the longer TSA lines and other travel control points. For domestic travel, AAA suggests 2 hours before departure time and 3 hours for international.
  • Consider booking a flight during off-peak periods to reduce waiting times.
  • Hit the road when there is less traffic and allow more time to get to your destination.
Top Thanksgiving 2021 Destinations
Destinations in the United States International destinations
Orlando, Florida Cancun, Mexico
Anaheim, California Montego Bay, Jamaica
New York, New York State Aruba, Aruba
Dallas / Ft. Worth, Texas Los Cabos, Mexico
Phoenix, Arizona Nassau, Bahamas
Honolulu, HI Saint Lucia, West Indies
Kahului, Maui, HI Dublin, Ireland
Atlanta, Georgia (to attach) Tel Aviv, Israel
Tampa, Florida (to attach) Calgary, Canada
pi. Lauderdale, Florida Paris, France

INRIX, working with AAA, predicts that drivers will experience the worst traffic jams ahead of the holiday weekend, as commuters leave work early and mingle with holiday travelers. Major US metropolitan areas could see more than double the delays compared to typical driving times, with drivers in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York City likely to experience more than three times delays.

Traffic was blocked for miles on a Los Angeles freeway two days before Thanksgiving 2017. (Screenshot via KTLA)

The roads will be animated

“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for road trips and this year will be no different even during the pandemic,” says Bob Pishue, Transportation Analyst, INRIX. “Drivers around major subways need to be prepared for significant delays, especially Wednesday afternoon. Knowing when and where congestion will develop can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. “

Worst corridors and travel times
Subway station Corridor Peak congestion % above normal
Atlanta I-85 S, Clairmont Road to prom. MLK Wed, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 340%
Boston I-93 N, Quincy Market at MA-28 Wed, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 240%
Chicago I-290 W, Morgan St to Wolfe Rd Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. 329%
Detroit I-96 W, 6 Mile Rd to Walled Lake Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 211%
Houston I-10 W, Sjolander Road to TX-330 Wednesday, 3.15 p.m. – 5.15 p.m. 344%
Los Angeles I-5 S, from Colorado St to Florence Ave Wednesday, 3:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. 385%
new York I-495 E, from Borden Ave to Little Neck Pkwy Wed, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 482%
San Francisco I-80 E, I-580 to San Pablo Dam Road Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 278%
Seattle I-5 S, WA-18 to WA-7 Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 257%
Washington DC I-95 S, I-395 to VA-123 Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 230%
Source: INRIX
The worst and best times of the day to travel
Day The worst moment Best time
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. After 9:00 p.m.
Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Before 11:00 a.m.
Friday 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Before 11:00 a.m.
Saturday 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Before 12:00
Sunday 13h00 – 19h00 Before 12:00
Source: INRIX
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