WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – The busiest Thanksgiving travel season ever kicks off this Friday.

AAA says that 55.4 million Americans will travel over Thanksgiving weekend. AAA Northeast Spokesperson Mark Schieldrop told 22News, “We expect to have a really busy Thanksgiving holiday travel week.”

22News went to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut to see where people are traveling for the holidays.

Laurel Pelis of Florence is heading to Florida and she says she expects to see lots of people at the airport, “I have a feeling that there are going to be a lot more people out this year, especially because COVID restrictions have eased up a little bit, so its easier to travel by plane, by train.”

She says when planning her trips, she likes to leave on days that there will be less people in the airport and get there early, “I got here early, a week before the holiday, so I think that has really worked out to my advantage.”

According to AAA, holiday travel is 2.3 percent higher than last year and it’s the 3rd highest on record.

“Pack your patience and anticipate those crowds. Be ready for those delays… so give yourself extra time on the road or at the airport to make sure your itinerary doesn’t fall too far behind,” said Schieldrop.

Schieldrop says about 4.7 million people will fly this year which is the highest number of travelers since 2005, despite airfares being five percent higher than last year. AAA also reports that 49.1 million Americans will drive which is a 1.7 percent increase compared to 2022.

The Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest and most expensive travel days, so AAA recommends that people should plan their trips accordingly.

Local News

Kiara Smith is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since March 2023. Follow Kiara on X @KiaraBSmith1 and view her bio to see more of her work.