PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, that means holiday travel is here too — and it’s expected to be even busier than usual. AAA says it’s expecting the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume to date with more than 55 million travelers this year.
The exact number AAA is expecting this year is 55.3 million, trailing only the 58.6 million travelers in 2005.
AAA says 1.6 million more people will travel this Thanksgiving season than 2018 — a 2.9% increase.
The worst travel day during the period, AAA says, is expected to be Wednesday, Nov. 27 as trips are anticipated to take as much as four times longer than normal in big cities, like Philadelphia. AAA says most travel will be done by vehicle.
This Thanksgiving, 49.3 million Americans are expected to travel by automobile, which would be the most since 2005 and a 2.8% increase from last year.
Air travel, though, is expected to see its biggest increase during the period with a 4.6% growth. AAA says 4.45 million Americans are expected to fly this year.
Other forms of transportation — trains, buses, cruise ships — are expected to see a 1.4% increase from last year at 1.49 million.
AAA suggests travelers flying opt to leave on the Monday before Thanksgiving based on an analysis of last year’s data.
The Monday before Thanksgiving has the lowest average ticket price at $486 and is a lighter travel day, according to AAA. Thanksgiving Day is also a cheap option, with the average ticket price at $454.
The Thanksgiving travel period is a five-day window beginning the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 27) and ending Dec. 1.
For more on AAA’s Thanksgiving travel tips, click here.