Record number of travelers expected to hit the road this holiday season


WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In addition to food and giving thanks, Thanksgiving also means traveling and this year, a record number of travelers are expected to take to the roads and the skies to get to their holiday destinations.

The holiday travel forecast predicts that nearly 50-million Americans will take a road trip, more than 4-million will fly and more than 1-million will travel by cruise, train, or bus for Thanksgiving.

If you’re traveling on the roads, MassDOT is advising that drivers leave either Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning if possible and says the worst hours to travel will be tomorrow between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at night.

MassDOT is also shutting down all scheduled construction Tuesday to help ease traffic congestion.

22News spoke with AAA Membership Travel and Marketing Vice President Sandra Marsian about how travelers are spending their money compared to years past.

She said, “Particularly with airfare being up 5 percent, it really does suggest that people are feeling good about their economic situation, where we’re moving from other modes of transportation or car travel over to air travel.”

AAA predicts a 3.2 percent increase in all modes of transportation, compared to last year’s travel data.

Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10:00 p.m. Thursday night until 5:00 a.m. the next morning, to help drivers stay alert behind the wheel.

AAA is expecting the second-highest travel volume since 2000.

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