Thanksgiving travel rush begins: Best and worst times to hit the road


SAN DIEGO — The Thanksgiving travel rush is officially here with Wednesday considered the busiest travel day of the year.

More than 53 million people are expected to travel during the holiday week, up 13% from 2020. Experts at AAA say with an additional 6.4 million people traveling coupled with the recent opening of U.S. borders, travelers should prepare for roads and airports to be noticeably more crowded.

The Amtrak train is an option for those seeking to avoid congested roads and airports. Reservations are required Wednesday through Monday to help staff safely manage crowds, and additional train cars will be added if necessary to ensure there are enough seats, staff said.

For the 48.3 million Americans expected to hit the road, AAA said to make sure you and your car are ready for the trip. They’re predicting more than 400,000 drivers will seek help over the holiday week.

If you waited until Wednesday to leave for your destination, AAA says to wait until after 9 p.m., or consider leaving Thursday before 11 a.m.

Here’s the best and worst times to travel by car, according to AAA:

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