When not to drive, what to expect at the airport


Santa isn’t the only one in need of a holiday travel plan. 

A record number of Americans decided to venture away from home this holiday season, according to the American Automobile Association, which estimates that 115.6 million will travel by car, plane, train, bus or cruise from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1. (Sadly,  they didn’t provide any statistics on travel by one-horse open sleigh.) 

That makes for 4.3 million more than last year and the most since AAA began recording numbers 19 years ago. 

Here’s the breakdown on the most wonderful times to travel this holiday season – and which days and times fall under the naughty list. 

Avoid driving Thursday evening

Post-Christmas travel will make for the least holly jolly time for those driving, according to INRIX, a global transportation analytics company that partners with AAA to compile holiday travel data.

Traffic jams are likely to peak on Thursday, Dec. 26, from about 4 to 6 p.m., when major cities such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington could see delays up to three times longer than usual travel times.

“With kids out of school and many Americans taking extended time off for the holidays, drivers will experience only incremental delays throughout the week,” INRIX transportation analyst Trevor Reed said in a news release. “Although congestion will be lighter than normal, knowing when and where major delays will likely happen will help save time and reduce stress this holiday season.” 



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