AAA Alabama expects 13% increase in Thanksgiving travel

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – We officially made it to the Thanksgiving holiday week and beginning Wednesday, more drivers will hit Alabama roads to travel to family gatherings and events.

AAA Alabama spokesperson Clay Ingram says drivers should expect the roads to be congested, with over 50 million people traveling over 50 miles for the holiday week.

“There’s even more pent-up demand,” said Ingram. “A lot of people didn’t get to go last year because of the pandemic to spend Thanksgiving with their families so numbers are going to be way up compared to last year, about a 13% increase over last year’s numbers.”

While travel is up compared to last year, Ingram said it’s still down 5% since 2019, before the pandemic. Still, the roads will be packed.

“Anywhere you go is going to be congested and a lot of people, a lot of traffic so you need to be prepared for that no matter where you’re headed,” he adds.

Hayden Wilkes lives in Madison and will head out on the road Wednesday for an hour and a half commute to Florence, where his family is originally from.

“Leaving a little earlier, not on the day of, should help out on Wednesday,” said Wilkes. “So maybe try to avoid some of that traffic on 72.”

Ingram says a lot of people plan on doing the same thing: leaving Wednesday instead of Thanksgiving day.

“Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving. Those are almost always the busiest travel days and the more you get toward the middle of the day, the more people will be out on the road,” said Ingram.

He further explains between 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., traffic will be at its peak, but traffic can be expected throughout the day.

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