KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Thanksgiving is less than a week away and some East Tennesseans are gearing up to travel to visit family and friends for the holidays. So, how you should you prepare for the holiday travel?
It’s time to cut that turkey, and that means travel times are going to be longer than normal. Megan Cooper with AAA says over one million Tennesseans are expected to travel for the holidays, “We’re expecting quite a bit of a rebound and travel volumes for the Thanksgiving holiday. Here in Tennessee, we’re expecting about 1.2 million Tennesseans to travel.”
Most of those traveling will be hitting the road. Cooper added, “Of those 1.2 (million) who are traveling, about 60% are planning on driving to their destination.” So, if you don’t want to get stuck in heavy traffic, you need to plan accordingly. “Some of the best times to travel are on Thanksgiving day if you can, if you have that availability, and then of course some of the worst times to travel are going to be the days leading into Thanksgiving.”
Tennessee Department of Transportation Mark Nagi says Thanksgiving travelers won’t be delayed by construction on Tennessee roads this holiday. “What we try to do during those major holidays is to halt all of our major construction-related lane closures. So, starting on Wednesday at noon, going all the way to midnight on the following Sunday after Thanksgiving, we will have those lane closures halted on our interstates and state routes,” Nagi said.
But if you’re crossing state lines, Nagi said, “There is bridgework taking place on I-40 at mile marker 7 on the North Carolina side. If they’re looking for an alternate route, the best way to get around it is utilizing I-81 and I-26.”
If part of your travels includes heading to the airport, make sure you’re ready for your flight before you get there. Cooper explained, “While the majority of Tennesseans are driving, there are those who are planning on flying to their destination for Thanksgiving. So, hopefully, you have already booked your flight and the best advice that we can give you is to plan ahead and make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time to head to your destination.”
Cooper added to always watch gas prices — as we are expecting some of the highest gas prices we’ve seen for Thanksgiving since 2013.