AAA predicts busiest Thanksgiving travel season since 2005

(Photo: Wikimedia/File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (WTHR) - This Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest in more than a decade for travelers.

AAA projects 54.3 million Americans will hit the road, air, or rail this holiday, up nearly 5 percent from last year and the heaviest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005. Analysts project that could mean travel times as much as four times longer than normal trip.

AAA said higher wages and more disposable income will lead to the increased number of holiday travelers this year.

Most of the travelers - an estimated 48.5 million - will travel by car, which experts predict will start slowing down the nation's highways starting on Monday of Thanksgiving week. They recommend planning your trip to avoid busy commuting times in major cities. In some of America's busiest cities, hitting downtown during rush hour could triple or quadruple your drive time.

Even higher gas prices, which at $2.79 a gallon on average across the U.S. is the highest in four years and 31 cents higher than last year, aren't expected to slow the holiday travel rush.

If you still haven't booked that flight, AAA recommends traveling on Monday or Thanksgiving Day to save yourself a little time and money.

And not all holiday travel is a trip to grandma's house for turkey. AAA's online and travel agency bookings show travelers are headed to sunny spots including Orlando, Las Vegas, Honolulu and the Dominican Republic.

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