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Family gathered around the table for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Holiday Travelers Expected to Gobble Up Roadways

Whether you’re heading over the river and through the woods or across town this Thanksgiving holiday, make sure to pack an extra helping of patience for the road.

Holiday travelers are expected to gobble up roadways, so if you are planning a DIY move over the Thanksgiving travel period, plan to pack an extra helping of patience along with tips from Penske’s moving experts.

More than 55 million travelers are expected to head 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, which begins Wednesday and ends Sunday, according to AAA. It is the third-highest Thanksgiving travel forecast since 2000, when AAA began tracking holiday travel.

“For many Americans, Thanksgiving and travel go hand in hand, and this holiday, we expect more people on the roads, skies, and seas compared to 2022,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “Travel demand has been strong all year, and AAA’s Thanksgiving forecast reflects that continued desire to get away and spend time with loved ones.”

More than 49 million are expected to travel by vehicle to their holiday destinations.

Wednesday afternoon is expected to be the worst travel period, with average travel times as high as 80% over normal in some metro areas, according to INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights.

INRIX recommends leaving in the morning or after 6 p.m. to avoid the heaviest holiday congestion.

Tips for Holiday Travelers

If you’re moving or driving over the holiday:

Don’t Drink and Drive: Alcohol reduces brain function and impairs thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. All are essential to operating a vehicle safely.

Know the “No Zones” Near Trucks: On large trucks, blind spots are found around the front, back and sides of the vehicle – areas not captured on a truck’s side mirror. For safety, Know the “No Zones” before you hit the road.

Get Rest: Make sure you get plenty of rest before you start your trip, and schedule breaks to remain alert and avoid drowsy driving.

Pace Packing: The holidays sometimes come with stress. By packing and loading one room at a time, and taking small breaks between rooms, the more successful and enjoyable the prep will be.

Protection Plans: Take advantage of Penske’s many coverage options for personal moves.

Accessories: Having a hand truck and/or furniture pads to help ease the pressure of moving items.

Remember, the busy roadways will be filled with more than just cars over the extended holiday travel period with commercial trucks, vans, and buses sharing the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed the “Our Roads, Our Responsibility” program featuring road-sharing tips for passenger and commercial vehicle drivers.

Penske’s 24/7 Roadside Assistance will be available throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to assist consumer renters and professional truck drivers as needed.

Are you planning an end-of-the-year move? Penske Truck Rental offers free unlimited miles on all one-way truck rentals, discounts for AAA members, college students and members of the military as well as packing supplies and 24/7 roadside assistance. Are you ready to make a reservation? Visit the PenskeTruck Rental website for more information.

By Bernie Mixon