The Worst Travel Day For Thanksgiving

Wednesday Is Worst Travel Day For Thanksgiving

‘Tis the season to give Thanks, but many commuters will find themselves with a case of road rage instead on Wednesday. It’s the day before Thanksgiving and it’s one of the busiest days to hit the road.

Majority of Americans are traveling to Thanksgiving destinations via car this year. With gas prices at the third lowest in over a decade at $2.11 per gallon, per GasBuddy. In fact in 44 of the 50 U.S. states gas prices have dropped lower than a week ago, perfect timing for those hitting the road.

Photo: GasBuddy website.
Photo: GasBuddy website.

The roadways are expected to be the busiest at 3 p.m. Wednesday and 4 p.m. Saturday. Travelers are encouraged to hit the road this morning instead of waiting.

This morning major interstates such as I-4, I-275 and I-75 in Tampa were quiet and steady moving. With the holiday many people had the day off so backups in Ybor and on the Howard Franklin were at a low during high traffic hours this morning.

However, that low traffic is not expected to last all day. Flights at Tampa International Airport are ramping up to get everyone to their correct destinations so traffic along I-275 is going to get heavy.

In anticipation of the extra traffic flow TPA has opened Arrivals/Departures curbsides now thru December 2nd and nightly construction has been halted through the holiday season.

According to NBC News, Airlines for America is estimating 27.3 million people to fly worldwide on domestic airlines between Nov. 18 and Nov. 29 averaging about 2.27 million people per day.

As of now all flights out of TPA seem to be on time with no delays reported and security lines are moving smoothly. But don’t risk showing up late to catch a flight. Security lines are unpredictable and airline officials recommend giving yourself two hours to report to your gate.

Tips For Quick, Easy Travels

To reach your destination on time here are some tips for those driving on their holiday trip:

  • Waze- the worlds largest community-based traffic and navigation app will show commuters on the road a live map consisting of traffic backups, accidents and gas prices near you. This is a must-have app for those using the roadways this holiday season.
  • Leave EARLY. There is nothing worse than spoiling a holiday trip with road rage. Leave with enough extra time so if you do get stuck in a traffic jam you don’t lose your patience.
  • Do your research. Know that when you do make a necessary stop get gas, food and use the bathroom all at once. Know where is the cleanest and easiest places to stop are so you don’t waste time making a number of the same stops that could have been accomplished all at once. The goal is to get off the roadways as quickly and safely as possible.

For those flying to a holiday destination:

  • Leave EARLY. This is extremely important for all travelers.

  • Don’t wear any metals and be sure to empty out your pockets to get through security swiftly.
  • Pack liquids and bathroom products on your carry on for easy access and less of a mess.
  • Instead of fighting and paying for parking, ask someone to drop you off and pick you up from the airport.

Traveling Across The U.S.

While Florida’s weather is perfect for traveling today, parts of the northern U.S. might not be the same. Parts of the U.S. like Minnesota and New York are getting hit with snow and freezing rain.

Roadways and airports are expected to experience delays everywhere. But one roadway in Los Angeles is already seeing the effects of Thanksgiving travelers.

NBC News expects 48 million people to travel today for the holidays. Of those 48 million there are five highways that are most probable to experience the most traffic.

Interstate 80 in San Francisco, Interstate 84 in Boston, Interstate 95 in Baltimore, Interstate 285 in Atlanta, and Interstate 80 in Chicago are expected to be the busiest highways on Wednesday.

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Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.