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Thanksgiving travel tips: What are the best and worst days to fly or drive?

More Americans are planning to travel for Thanksgiving this year compared to last. Here’s what the experts say to expect on the road and in the air.

The best and worst days to travel for Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are planning to jump on a plane, a train or in their car to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday period. 55.4 million to be exact according to AAA estimates, over a million more than last year, for one of the busiest times of the year to travel.

This means that you will want to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time as you can expect long lines at the airport or traffic jams on the road.

Thanksgiving travel tips: What are the best and worst days to drive?

The vast majority of Americans will be travelling by car, with over 49 million expected to get behind the wheel. Transportation data and insights provider INRIX is predicting that Wednesday 22 November will be the busiest day for traffic on the nation’s roads during the five day holiday period. Average travel times could be as much as 80 percent above normal in some metro areas.

The day before Thanksgiving is notoriously one of the most congested days on our roadways,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Travelers should be prepared for long delays, especially in and around major metros.”

In order to help minimize traffic frustrations he recommends knowing when and where congestion will build up. “We advise drivers to use traffic apps, local DOT notifications, and 511 services for real-time updates,” Pishue told AAA.

The auto club provides a list of peak congestions times for a number of metro areas. Getting an early start is recommended as AAA says that the best time to travel is in the morning hours during the five days of the Thanksgiving holiday period. The worst time to get on the road varies by day, but generally between lunchtime and dinnertime.

You may also be interested in: Gas prices for Thanksgiving: will they go up or down?

Thanksgiving travel tips: What are the best and worst days to fly?

Airlines have been getting ready by building up staffing number and adding extra flights along with higher capacity planes for what is expected to be a record number of people flying this year. AAA is forecasting that around 4.7 million people will catch a flight this year. That is a 6.6 percent increase over last year and the most since 2005.

According to the auto club, taking to the skies will be the least friendly on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22, as well as the most expensive. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is typically the busiest day to fly home, but Monday is also a popular day says AAA.