Thanksgiving is a time of family, turkey, pie -- and traffic jams.
An estimated 43.4 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Ninety percent of those travelers will travel by automobile, according to AAA.
Wednesday will be the busiest single day of travel as 37 percent of travelers will leave for their destination that day. Thirty-three percent of travelers said they will return on Sunday, says AAA.Here’s what you need to know before you hit the road:
1. Let's start with some good news. The Thanksgiving holiday is a less expensive holiday for travelers compared to other holidays. For instance, this year, Labor Day spending was expected to be $804, Independence Day $749 and Memorial Day $659. Thanksgiving is expected to cost travelers $465.
2. The average distance that will be traveled this year is 601 miles, according to AAA.
3. Gas prices are the lowest at Thanksgiving since 2010 – and AAA expects them to drop even more in the coming weeks.
4. Travelers are actually expected to be down 2.5 percent this year compared to last Thanksgiving. Travel by automobile is expected to drop 2.7 percent.
5. The Maryland State Highway Administration will help make travel less stressful by suspending all non-emergency roadwork on SHA-maintained roadways between Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 9 a.m. and Monday morning, Dec. 2, at 9 a.m. Additionally, SHA will deploy extra emergency traffic patrols along metropolitan interstates in search of stranded motorists.
6. Check ahead for weather delays and road conditions before you leave home. You can find updates by calling 511 or visiting www.MD511.org.
7. Drivers can view hundreds of live traffic cameras by logging onto the CHART website at www.roads.maryland.gov and clicking on CHART.
8. Those flying out of Baltimore/Washington International Airport can check updated airline and airport information here: www.massport.com.
9. Travelers flying via Washington Dulles International Airport can check arrival and departure times here: http://www.metwashairports.com/dulles/874.htm.
10. Flight times and status updates for Reagan National Airport can be found here: http://www.metwashairports.com/reagan/reagan.htm.