Thanksgiving road trip: Best, worst times to hit the road

If you decide to wait until Thanksgiving to drive, it's recommended you leave before 11 a.m.

Thursday, November 25, 2021
AAA says Thanksgiving travel rates approaching pre-pandemic levels
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AAA says Thanksgiving travel rates approaching pre-pandemic levels. Walter Perez reports for Action News on Nov. 24, 2021.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- AAA experts are suggesting that drivers plan to travel during the early morning hours or late in the evening to avoid the worst traffic congestion.

Wednesday is expected to be the busiest weekday travel day since the start of the pandemic.

RELATED: Take a live look at traffic across the area

AAA said the worst time to drive on Wednesday will be between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. The best time to leave Wednesday to avoid congestion is after 9 p.m., according to AAA.

If you decide to wait until Thanksgiving to drive, it's recommended you leave before 11 a.m. to avoid heavy congestion.

RELATED: Philadelphia International Airport urges travelers to find a ride on one of its busiest travel days

The worst time to drive on Thanksgiving Day is expected to be between the hour of 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

AAA is projecting that nearly 630,000 people in the Philadelphia area will be traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, most of them on the road.

Those numbers are up since last year. More than 90% of travelers are expected to drive this time around, experts said.

RELATED: How to keep holiday gatherings safe as experts predict a surge of cases after Thanksgiving

They'll also be paying more for gas.

Right now, AAA says that the average cost of gas is about $3.40 a gallon, which is more than a dollar higher than this time last year.

President Joe Biden has tapped into the emergency supply this week in an effort to bring prices down since supply cannot keep up with increasing demand.

Experts believe it could take about two weeks for the emergency supply to enter the markets and for gas stations around the country to lower costs.