Thanksgiving travel: Plan now for high prices, crowded roads and weather

After a COVID-19 minimized celebration last year, this year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel is on track to be busy and expensive.

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AAA is estimating that more than 53 million Americans will be traveling for the holiday next week. That is 13% higher than in 2020, the “Today” show reported.

Some travel experts say this year’s adventures will be different, because many people have not ventured far for nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greg Chin, the communications division director for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department told “Today,” “People are going to be traveling for the first time probably since the pandemic and they’re not used to the whole travel experience, so get familiar with your airline check-in procedures.”

Also, review the Transportation Security Administration’s rules on what can be taken on planes as carry-ons or what will need to be packed.

Remember to pack face masks. While some areas have, or will be lifting, face mask mandates, public transportation rules, from airplanes to buses, are set by the federal government. Masks on planes, trains and buses are required through at least Jan. 18, 2022, according to the TSA.

For more Thanksgiving travel tips, including when to head out and what routes to avoid if you’re driving, visit AAA.

In addition to the travel restrictions and crowds, drivers will have to deal with pain at the pump.

Gas Buddy says that the average price next week will be about $3.35 a gallon and is among the highest we’ve seen in seven years. But there could be a surge in pricing that will take that amount over the record of $3.44 a gallon set in 2012.

Finally, there is a big storm that may cause disruptions next week, CNN reported. The storm could hit the Midwest to the Northeast causing issues at hubs in Chicago and New York, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

Keep in mind that the holiday is about a week away and the forecast could change. Stay tuned to our weather team for the latest local developments.