WASHINGTON D.C., DC — AAA’s Thanksgiving 2022 travel outlook is out and it’s projecting the third busiest year for Thanksgiving travel since the organization began tracking in 2000 (2005 and 2019 are the other two years).
They’re expecting 54.6 million people to make a trip 50 miles or more from home, which is a 1.5% increase compared to last year and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes.
Of that 54.6 million, 49 million are expected to travel by car, which is up slightly from 2021 but still 2.5% below pre-pandemic levels.
Meanwhile, air travel is up 8% compared to last year, or an increase of about 330,000 travelers.
Paula Twidale, AAA’s Senior VP of Travel, says people going to the airport should consider pre-booking parking and avoid checking a bag if they can.
“Airport parking spaces fill up fast, so reserve a spot ahead of time and arrive early,” said Twidale. “Anticipate long TSA lines. If possible, avoid checking a bag to allow for more flexibility if flights are delayed or you need to reschedule.”
But the area seeing the most growth this year is "other," which includes bus, train, or cruise. It’s expected to see a 23% increase compared to 2021.
Travelers are encouraged to leave early Wednesday or before 11 a.m. Thanksgiving, and avoid traveling between 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Los Angeles: I-5 South; Colorado Street to Florence Avenue is expecting to see a 144% increase over normal traffic with the worst expected Wednesday, Nov. 23, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
San Francisco: I-80 West; Maritime Street to San Pablo Dam Road is expecting to see an 80% increase over normal traffic with the worst expected Wednesday, Nov. 23, from 4-5 p.m.