Another record travel season forecasted, AAA Tidewater says plan accordingly

Posted at 6:04 AM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 11:06:32-05

If you're planning to leave town for Thanksgiving, Wednesday is not the day to do it.

AAA says, every year, the day before the holiday is always the busiest travel day of the year and this year's might be the busiest of them all.

“Probably 2-3 percent (increase) in general, which is good. That’s good for business, basically. We are planning on seeing more auto travel than ever and that is very typical for Thanksgiving," said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Relations for AAA Tidewater. "Trying to leave at 3:30 or 4 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is going to do nothing but aggravate you."

Blumling suggests leaving on Monday or Tuesday, if possible. If you have to leave on Wednesday, try to do it between rush hours.

Also, if you're driving, make sure you and your car are prepared for the climate of your destination.

Drivers headed up north should make sure their tires are in good shape and have blankets, a flashlight and even flashers in case of a breakdown, Blumling says, adding that anyone traveling should have their cell phone with a charger.

For people traveling by air, get to the airport earlier than usual in anticipation of longer lines and check flight statuses before leaving the house.

“They may stop you in Norfolk and not let you fly because Atlanta’s in bad shape or New York’s got snow so always call ahead and check with your airline. Make sure you know what time they suggest you be there and they will tend to [tell you]," said Blumling.

Blumling tells News 3 the record travel forecast comes from a few factors.

“[AAA does] some surveys and calls and things to try and determine what people say they’re going to do. It’s a pre-forecast. It’s not something we can find out really. It’s an estimate, but also we know that the economy is good right now. Gas prices are in pretty good shape," she said.

But regardless of whether records are broken or not, your safest bet is to plan for the worst so you're prepared no matter what situation you run into.