This Thanksgiving to be second busiest for SoCal travelers on record, AAA says

It's expected to be just 3% less than the all-time record of 4.5 million local Thanksgiving travelers in 2019, according to AAA.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (KABC) -- Traveling for Thanksgiving this year will definitely require some patience, especially in Southern California.

According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, this will be the second-busiest Thanksgiving for travelers on record and is just 3% less than the all-time record of 4.5 million local Thanksgiving travelers in 2019.

Nationwide, AAA is projecting this Thanksgiving to be the third-busiest on record, with 53.4 million people expected to travel compared to 56 million in 2019 and 53.7 million in 2018.

"This is a remarkable comeback for travel, especially considering that cruises and some other modes of transportation have only recently restarted," said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club's vice president for travel products and services. "To help meet consumer demand, AAA is hiring travel advisors. We are also strongly recommending that people not wait to book trips in 2022 because there are deals and availability that are being offered now that will go fast."

READ ALSO | US lifts pandemic international travel ban, opens doors to visitors
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The U.S. lifted restrictions Monday on travel from a long list of countries including Mexico, Canada and most of Europe.

Gas prices

In addition, Southern California travelers will be paying the highest gas prices ever for this time of year. With average gas prices now at more than $4.50 a gallon in most areas, a typical 15-gallon tank fill-up could cost drivers $70 or more, according to AAA.

Travel tips

Bring plenty of masks, which will be required on any form of public transportation. You may also need your vaccine card to enter some locations.

You should plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours ahead of time for international departures.

Busy roads

According to the transportation analytics firm INRIX, the afternoon and evening of Nov. 24 will be the busiest time for Southland freeways.

They project that the busiest local freeway segment for drivers will be Interstate 5 South from Colorado St. to Florence Ave, where traffic is expected to be 385% over normal levels that day. All outbound freeways are likely to be congested on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons before Thanksgiving.

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