As travelers pack up their bags and get ready for Thanksgiving week, one thing is certain: They will not be alone. The TSA estimates that more than 25 million travelers will be screened at airport checkpoints between Friday, November 16, and Monday, November 26, a 7 percent increase compared to last year.
According to AAA, the 2018 Thanksgiving weekend will see the holiday period’s highest travel volume since 2005, with over 54 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more.
While the day before Thanksgiving has traditionally been one of the busiest travel days of the year, TSA reported that it has started to see more people start their travels the Friday before Thanksgiving, with most passengers choosing to return home on either the Sunday or Monday after Thanksgiving. The busiest travel days will still be the Tuesday and Wednesday just prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving—that Sunday is actually projected to break into the TSA’s top 10 busiest days ever.
As for driving, AAA reports that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be the worst day for drivers in San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles; the Tuesday before will be the worst day for folks heading out of New York, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, and Boston; and Monday will be the worst pre-Thanksgiving traffic day for those in Houston.
Warm weather destinations and theme parks are clearly where the masses will be heading this Thanksgiving. Whether you want to join them or avoid them, here’s the full list of AAA’s Top 10 destinations:
- Orlando, Florida
- New York City
- Anaheim, California
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Cancun, Mexico
- Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Washington, D.C.
- Miami, Florida