The United States celebrates Thanksgiving Day today, November 23, wherein millions of families and friends come together to share a traditional turkey dinner. However, the holiday also marks the start of the holiday travel season. This year, the holiday travel is expected to be one of the busiest ever. As per NBC News, nearly 4 million people will be on the road in Southern California for Thanksgiving destinations. Several pictures and videos have surfaced on social media showing roads clogged with vehicles in Los Angeles.
According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, Thanksgiving travel will be the busiest since 2005. About 4.6 million travelers are expected to hit the road, a three-percent increase from last year.
Most drivers are heading to warm-weather destinations, theme parks, and cruise ports. AAA reports that Anaheim, San Diego, and Las Vegas are among the most popular destinations for Thanksgiving travel. For those flying, airports such as Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, and Hollywood Burbank Airport will be crowded with passengers.
As the number of travelers is expected to reach record highs, authorities are deploying extra personnel at the airports and highways. Hundreds of patrol cars will be in service across California and the entire country. Moreover, the California Highway Patrol will conduct an annual Maximum Enforcement Period starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. During the busy holiday, it will run until Sunday to reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths.
Those planning to drive to their destinations should plan and stay calm. The best time to leave is early morning when traffic tends to be lighter. Drivers should also ensure they have enough fuel and avoid distractions while driving. The Auto Club advises drivers to check their vehicle’s tire tread, oil level, lights, and battery before embarking on their journey.
In an emergency, travelers are advised to call 911 immediately and report it to the local police. They should also bring their insurance cards and medical documents while traveling. They should be aware of the local laws, especially regarding drinking and driving. The Auto Club recommends that travelers take breaks, stay hydrated, and eat healthy snacks.
The AAA also advises people to prepare their vehicles for the trip. Before departing for their holiday destination, they should check the tire tread, oil, air pressure, and battery levels. They should also wear comfortable shoes and carry an emergency kit. In addition, they should make sure their smartphones are fully charged. For those who are traveling by air, they should arrive at the airport at least two hours before their flight. They should also consider choosing a direct flight and avoiding connecting flights. Lastly, they should know about the airline’s customer service and rebooking policies.