On the Road

Perhaps you remember the iconic image of the LA 405 Freeway gridlock in 2019. The photo – found here – serves a dose of reality when it comes to the busiest travel day of the year, every year.

The day before thanksgiving.

So if you’re planning on taking a trip sometime between now and the end of the year, you’ll want to consider the busiest day to travel.

Believe it or not, there is a day significantly busier than any other for traveling (hint, it is during the holiday season). This blog post will discuss what those days are and why they’re so busy.

1. The day before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and for a good reason.

Families come together from all over to celebrate, and many people have the day off from work or school. As a result, airports and highways are often packed with holiday travelers. However, flying on Thanksgiving Day might not be as challenging as you think.

According to AAA, travelers driving during these times will expect the most traffic:

  1. Wednesday between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  2. Thursday between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  3. Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Thanksgiving Day can be a great time to snag a cheap flight. Early morning flight times are typically less crowded than later in the day. So, if you want to save money and avoid the holiday rush, consider flying on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanks to increased competition among airlines, prices tend to drop in the weeks leading up to the holiday. And since many travels to visit family, they often book their flights well in advance. As a result, there are often plenty of last-minute deals.


2. Christmas Eve and New Year’s day

The holidays are a busy time for travel, and Christmas and New Year’s are two of the most active days of the year. The holidays are a time for family, so airports and highways will be full of holiday travelers.

Traveling during the holidays can be stressful, but there are a few things that you can do to make it a little easier:

  1. Make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
  2. It’s better to arrive early and have some time to relax than to cram everything into a tight schedule. To underscore an example, Miami international airport sees an influx of 50 million people during the holidays, that’s 40% more than the average day. Post Covid-19 pandemic, these numbers are bound to be higher, but the sentiment still stands.
  3. Pack light and only bring what you really need. This will help you move through security checkpoints more quickly and make it less likely to lose something important in the hustle and bustle of holiday travel. Domestic flight searches typically peak two weeks before the holidays, so if you’re looking for a deal, it’s best to book your flight early if you plan a holiday weekend.

Remember to stay flexible and go with the flow. Things will inevitably go wrong at some point, but if you can roll with it, you’ll find that holiday travel can be surprisingly enjoyable.

3. Weekends

For many people, weekends are the perfect opportunity to travel. With two days off from work or school, there’s plenty of time to explore a new city or go on a long road trip. And since most other people have the same schedule, finding things to do and places to stay is often easier.

Unfortunately, this also means that weekends are usually the busiest and most expensive time to travel. If you want to avoid crowds and save money, consider traveling during the week instead.

Most travelers take advantage of their time off from work or school, so airports and highways are often less crowded during the week. The last weekend day to travel is typically Sunday, as people are trying to get back in time for the work week. This is a recipe for high prices and long lines, so it’s best to avoid it if possible.

Domestic flights are typically cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (and sometimes Saturdays too), so if you’re looking for a deal, consider flying during the week. You might find that weekday travel can be just as enjoyable as a weekend getaway.

4. Mondays

“It’s just another manic Monday!” As the famous line from the Bangles’ song goes, many people dread Mondays. Mondays are often a mix of hectic and intense as people try to get back into the swing of things after a relaxing weekend.

For some, this means dealing with a long commute in traffic. For others, it means working overtime to catch up on tasks left undone over the weekend. And for many people, it simply means returning to a job they don’t enjoy.

Traveling on Monday can also be a nightmare, as airlines tend to cancel twice as many flights on that day as on other days. Same-day trip dates are often more expensive, so if you want to save some money on your travel plans, consider avoiding Monday altogether. These can make your trip much more complicated and stressful than it needs to be. So if you’re feeling stressed about Monday, you’re not alone! All of these factors can make Mondays quite challenging to get through.

5. The third and fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of the busiest travel days of the year, as many people take advantage of the long weekend to go on vacations. However, the holiday itself can also be a pain to travel on.

Airports and roads are often very crowded on the Fourth of July, so if you’re planning on traveling on this day, it’s essential to plan and leave plenty of time for your journey. Air travel will often cause delays due to the number of people trying to travel on this day, so it’s essential to be prepared for any potential delays.

In addition, keep in mind that many businesses will be closed on the Fourth of July, so you may have difficulty finding food or other services if you’re traveling during this time. A survey was done by a vacation rental site¬†that shows a spike in car rentals fee and a decrease in the availability of rental cars during this time.

The Verdict –

If you have ever driven during the holiday season, it isn’t much of a shocker that the busiest days to travel are around Thanksgiving, followed by the Christmas/New Years’ season.

Traffic is noticeably higher during these times, so preparing ahead of time, giving yourself plenty of time to arrive, and being patient are essential for safe driving.

Here at LYT, we specialize in preemptive technology to help first responders quickly get to the scene of an accident. Still, we also want drivers to avoid these situations altogether. So please be sure to travel safely during this holiday season!

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