WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — More Kansans are expected to travel this year for Thanksgiving compared to 2022.
AAA of Kansas expects around 584,000 Kansans to travel more than 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday. That’s a 2% increase from 2022.
Breaking down the numbers from AAA, 523,000 plan to drive, which is up 1% from last year; 32,000 people plan to fly, an increase of 6%; and an additional 29,000 will travel by other means, like bus, rail, or take a cruise, which represents a nearly 16% increase over last year.
AAA says lower gas prices are likely fueling that travel increase, with the price per gallon now 30 cents lower than this time last year.
“The seasonal pattern of less driving and lower gas demand due to shorter days, combined with lower crude oil prices of late, has been driving gas prices lower,” says AAA Kansas spokesperson Shawn Steward in a news release. “This trend has led about 10 states to average gas prices below $3 a gallon in recent weeks, with more expected to join.”
INRIX, a company that provides traffic data and insights to AAA and other organizations and government agencies, says that Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 26, will be the busiest travel days. They recommend either traveling in the morning or after 6 p.m. to avoid heavy traffic.
“The day before Thanksgiving is notoriously one of the most congested days on our roadways. Travelers should be prepared for long delays, especially in and around major metros,” says Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help minimize holiday traffic frustrations. We advise drivers to use traffic apps, local DOT notifications, and 511 services for real-time updates.”
AAA says if you’re flying, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday are the busiest days for air travel during the Thanksgiving holidays. AAA recommends arriving at the airport early and being prepared for possible long lines, especially if you have a connecting flight at a major airport.
For more travel information at tips from AAA of Kansas, visit their website.