Thanksgiving travel will be worst since 2005

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With more than 51 million Americans travelling for the holiday, traffic will have record delays

More than 45 million Americans will travel by car this Thanksgiving — Keep Smiling Photography / ShutterstockMore than 45 million Americans will travel by car this Thanksgiving — Keep Smiling Photography / Shutterstock

If you plan to travel by car this Thanksgiving, you should pack your smartphone with an endless list of audiobooks. The time spent on the road might be the longest in history.

Seeing your family could be even more frustrating than usual because the holiday is expected to see the highest number of travellers in 12 years.

According to the American Automobile Association, 51 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles during the break between Wednesday and Sunday.

The number of travellers shows a 3.3 per cent increase compared to last year’s total, the highest since 2005.

Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at Seattle-based INRIX, said in an AAA report: “Thanksgiving has historically been one of the busiest holidays for road trips, and this year we could see record-level travel delays.”  

Drivers will make for the vast majority of those travelling this Thanksgiving. The agency expects more than 45 million people to travel by car, which is 2.3 per cent more than the previous year and 89 per cent of those travelling this year. Americans will go to see their family despite high gas prices that will cause a significant increase in expense

More people decided to travel for the holiday because of the economic growth — Shutterstock ThanksgivingMore people have decided to travel for the holiday because of economic growth across the country — Shutterstock

The record levels of people travelling are linked to the economic growth. According to Bloomberg, the US economy is expected to grow to 2.7 per cent in the fourth quarter. With a rate of 4.1 per cent, unemployment is at its lowest since 2000.

“I’m always reminded of the fact that Americans get the fewest number of vacation days of all the workers in the industrialised word,” Sinclair said.

“When we get a chance to get out and go, we make the most of it. Things have to be really bad, like they were at the end of 2008, for any cutbacks to be made.”