Prepare for total chaos on the roads next week.  No, seriously, everyone will be on the road this Thanksgiving and I mean EVERYONE.

Darienite reports that since gas prices remain steady, 51 million Americans will be out and about this year.  That’s roughly a 3.3 percent increase from 2016.  If these numbers hold, this year will become most traveled Thanksgiving since 2005.

Here’s what AAA has to say about this year’s Thanksgiving travel forecast.

On the highways, 45.5 million people will travel about 50 miles or more.  That number’s up 3.2 percent from last year.  So, expect major congestion, headaches, and multiple pee breaks if you hit peak travel time.

On the terminal side, 3.95 million Americans will jet off to their destinations, which is a 5 percent increase from 2016.  This year looks to host the most passengers in history, as well.   So, despite all those airline controversies, this year is a major win for them.

Don’t count out trains since they, too, will see a major bump in commuters.  1.48 million people will use the rails to make it to Grandma’s house for the holidays this year.

This year, however, AAA pinpointed the absolute WORST day for travelers.   So, if you plan on jumping in your car next Tuesday… don’t.  It’s not worth it, man.   But, if you must, do so in the early morning or late evening hours to spare your sanity.

As for the absolute worst time to go on the roads: that’s between 5:30pm and 8pm.

Air travel will reach its worst on the day before Thanksgiving, while train ridership seems to kick the bucket after 1pm that same day.

AAA wanted to figure out why so many people are traveling this year and pinpointed several factors.

Nationally, our economy and labor market seems to be flexing its muscles this year.  In Connecticut, that’s not exactly happening but, okay, we’ll take it.   Due to a rise in consumer confidence, more people feel comfortable traveling 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving.

On top of that, the holiday typically inspires more people to spend time with their families.  It is tradition, after all.  So, you’re looking at a perfect storm of factors that’s creating this travel whirlwind.

There you have it.  You’ll deal with tons of people on the roads, planes, and trains all over America.  So choose your travel time wisely and have fun this Thanksgiving!

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