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car travelIn my previous life, handling Hertz’s Corporate Communications, I worked quite closely with AAA and their Thanksgiving Travel Forecast was always the catalyst for a slew of media inquiries.  A busy time for us, I was always impressed with the quality of their research.  Below are highlights with some specific details for the Nor’east:

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 48.5 million – will hit the road this Thanksgiving, nearly 5 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air, at 5.4 percent, with 4.27 million travelers.
  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 1.4 percent, with a total 1.48 million passengers

For those traveling by car, AAA and INRIX, the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics, predict drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion Thanksgiving week during the early evening commute period, with travel times starting to increase on Monday. Drivers in New York City and Boston will see the largest delays – nearly quadruple normal drive times.  That’s right quadruple…insert loud groan here.

Per INRIX, the worst times to hit the road in major Northeast cities:

  • Boston Tuesday 4:00 – 6:00 PM
  • Washington, D.C. Tuesday 5:00 – 7:00 PM
  • New York Tuesday 6:00 – 8:00 PM

By and large, the best days to travel will be on Thanksgiving Day, Friday or Saturday. Drivers should expect increased travel times on Sunday as most holiday travelers will be making their way home.  As you figure out your travels, plan accordingly and think about leaving during an ‘off’ day or hour — i.e. leave on Sunday or early morning Thanksgiving day n(typically my strategy which works well).

Happy planning, safe travels and bon appetite!