gas pump

November is rolling along, and with Veteran’s Day behind us, Thanksgiving is starting to creep up on us. With that comes the expectation for heavy traffic. AAA is expecting over 53 million Americans to hit the road this year, which isn’t that far from Thanksgiving’s numbers in 2019, before the coronavirus lockdowns hit.

This Thanksgiving, travel will look very different from last year. Now that the borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with their loved ones for the holiday, ” said Paula Twidale, the vice president of AAA Travel.

The general advice from the likes of Forbes and AAA for having a smooth Thanksgiving commute remains much the same but with a few changes due to the pandemic. Getting to the airport early is a no-brainer even when there isn’t an upcoming holiday, especially if there’s a looming threat of winter weather. In the case of Thanksgiving, however, arriving two to three hours ahead of time is recommended in order to get through airport security.

Since a lot of people are going to see their families by car, many can expect to get hit hard by the increased gas prices. Forbes suggests using an app to help with finding the best gas prices and to pack snacks for the ride.

Prepare for the day before Thanksgiving to likely be the busiest, with some making the last leg of their trip and some heading out for early bird Black Friday deals, also expect busy conditions on the holiday. The Sunday after is also expected to be busy since many people will be trying to return home. Given these expectations, it’s suggested that travelers head to their destination a few days before Thanksgiving Eve and leave a little later if they are able to.

For best results, travel under conditions that allow you to relax and avoid being in a hurry. Thanksgiving is a day of celebrating what we’ve been given in life, and the best way to celebrate it is with friends and family around the dinner table, not at a hospital after a traffic wreck. So drive safe, drive sane, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.