(CBS DETROIT) – Thanksgiving is just days away, and millions of Michiganders are expected to travel over the holiday weekend.
According to AAA, more than 1.7 million Michigan residents will travel 50 miles or more over Thanksgiving weekend.
This is about 43,000 more Michigan travelers than last year. In addition, it is the third-highest travel expected during the holiday season on record, behind 2005 and 2019.
“Travel demand has been strong all year and that trend will continue with one of the busiest Thanksgivings on record,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “With more people taking to the roads, skies, rails and sea; travelers should expect congested roads and longer lines at transportation terminals. AAA encourages travelers to develop their plan now, leave early, and be courteous to others.”
Of the 1.7 million Michigan residents who are expected to travel, about 1.5 million residents are expected to travel by driving, about 178,000 are expected to fly, and about 50,000 will travel by cruise, bus or train.
INRIX data shows that Wednesday, Nov. 22, is expected to be the worst day for traffic while driving during the Thanksgiving holiday, and drivers could experience travel times 80% longer than usual.
“The day before Thanksgiving is notoriously one of the most congested days on our roadways. Travelers should be prepared for long delays, especially in and around major metros,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help minimize holiday traffic frustrations. We advise drivers to use traffic apps, local DOT notifications, and 511 services for real-time updates.”
Regarding flying, the number of people set to fly is up 8.5% from last year. This is the highest forecast since AAA began tracking travel for the holiday season in 2000.
Overall, most people traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday will drive, according to AAA, with 49.1 million people expected to get in their cars and road trip to their destinations.