BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Thanksgiving is three days away, and people are finalizing holiday travel plans.
AAA predicts more than 54 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving.
The travel company says this year projects to be the third busiest for Thanksgiving since AAA started in 2000.
AAA says nearly 49 million will travel by car, and 4.5 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving by air.
The company says more than 1.4 million travelers are traveling by bus, train, or cruise ship this Thanksgiving.
A spokesperson for Amtrak, Marc Magliari, says the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are the busiest days of the year for the company.
Magliari says if you are traveling by Amtrak this Thanksgiving get there half an hour before your train departs, and he says to make your reservations early.
A spokesperson with AAA, Clay Ingram, says the southeast region is the busiest in the country.
With over 45 million drivers on the roadways this Thanksgiving, Ingram says to prepare for delays.
Drivers will be paying, on average, between 3.22 and 3.66 for gas this Thanksgiving, and Ingram says it is possible that gas prices could drop again before the week is over.
“It’s not going to be a deal breaker for most people, it’s a little more than what we are accustomed to that time of year, but it is still a small relative increase of what we use to pay,” Ingram said.
He encourages drivers to plan and pay attention to details to avoid distractions while on the road.
Travelers will also take to the air through the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport this Thanksgiving.
VP of communications for the airport, Kim Hunt, says she expects an increase in travelers this Thanksgiving compared to last year.
She wants to remind travelers to get to the airport early and know what they can and cannot take on the plane.
“We just ask people to check those carry-on bags, briefcases, and purses that you carry every day,” Hunt said. “You may forget what is prohibited on an airplane, be sure to get that out before you get to a checkpoint because if they find it, they slow you down, and it slows the people behind you.”
She suggests travelers arrive at the airport two hours before their plane departs during the holidays.