Millions Take to the Roads, Air, and Rails for Thanksgiving

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If you are getting out of dodge today for the holiday weekend, get in line. According to AAA, you will be joined by over 38 million of your closest friends.

The good old roads is still the most popular way to travel this holiday weekend. AAA guesses that nearly 86 percent of all people traveling for this long weekend will do it on four wheels.

This five day stretch, during the Thanksgiving weekend is the busiest travel period of the year. AAA estimates 38.4 million people will be traveling over 50 miles to their turkey day destination, up 1.4 percent from last year. The biggest change appears to be how people are getting to where they are going. More people seem to be traveling to visit family, rather than going on vacation. That means, the car is the hot mode of transportation and with packed roadways, patience is the name of the game.

"Know that it's going to be crowded. Allow additional time. Pack your patience and just make life easier and keep a smile on your face. Understand that you are going to visit family and you want to get there safely and have a happy experience," said Cindy Brough from AAA.

By the way, this weekend is not the easiest on the wallet. AAA once again estimating, people will spend an average of $718 this weekend. A third of that expected to go towards travel while another 21 percent of that money will be spent filling your gut with food and your favorite libations.

If you are going by air, the there will be less people to deal with this holiday season.

AAA estimates 2.3 million people across the U.S. will take to the air this holiday weekend. That is a 6.7 percent decrease from last year and a 62 percent loss since 2000. At Harrisburg International Airport, things are expected to be steady. They expect to see 21,000 people over the six day stretch, about the same as last year. Travelers saying, they enjoy the ease of HIA.

"It's great. There's no crowds. It's a wonderful place to fly out of," said flyer Trudy Fix.

"We have about six percent less seats available this year compared to last year. However, fares are down this year compared to last year and planes are much fuller," said Scott Miller from Harrisburg International Airport.

Two pieces of advice that could make your airline experience a little more enjoyable. First, check with your carrier before heading out to the airport. Second, check what you are packing to make sure that you will not be hassled at security. Things like drinks and powders are not allowed through security so pack it up.

For those of you flying, one good thing about less capacity should mean less delays both going through security and in the air.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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