Thanksgiving traffic to hit peaks next Wednesday and Sunday

55 million people are expected to travel for the holiday, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
55 million people are expected to travel for the holiday, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
55 million people are expected to travel for the holiday, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 2:43 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Thanksgiving is next week, and holiday traffic is expected to heat up over the next few days.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said they expect this to be the third busiest Thanksgiving they’ve seen since they started tracking travel data in 2000.

“There’s really been a return to travel. For Thanksgiving we are looking at an increase over the number of travelers we saw last year and just shy of what we saw back in the pre-pandemic days of 2019,” said Morgan Dean with AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Dean said 55 million people in the U.S. are expected to travel for the holiday, and most of those will be by car.

The busiest traffic days will be Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 27. If you can avoid travel those days, do. If not, there are better times to hit the road.

“If you’re thinking of traveling on Wednesday and want to avoid the traffic, leaving before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. is your best call,” Dean said.

If you leave in the middle of the day, you may get caught up in the evening rush hour. For Sunday, leaving before 11 a.m. or after 8 p.m. is the best idea, Dean said.

Minimizing the number of times you get on and off the interstate is also ideal, according to Dean.

“You’re going to see a lot of cars on the road. That’s going to be a lot of people stopped along the interstate, getting meals, so be aware there could be an awful lot of traffic out there. Anticipate and expect those delays.”

Pack snacks and drinks, along with entertainment for anyone in the car who needs it.