BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Across the country, more than 46 million people will be traveling for Thanksgiving weekend. It’s the highest number in seven years.

Tracey Leong has more on the jump in travelers.

Experts say close to 1 million Marylanders will be leaving their homes to travel at least 50 miles, showing overall confidence in our economy.

Heading out of town for Thanksgiving? You’re not alone. Forty-six million Americans, including about 1 million Marylanders, are planning to get away. It’s the highest amount since 2007.

“Most consumers have more consumer confidence and they‘re more positive about the economy. So we’re thinking that’s certainly a factor and also gas prices are down,” said Ragina Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson.

Prices at the pump are the lowest in five years. The national average is $2.85. Maryland’s average is $2.87.

“It’s cheaper to drive home. Gas prices being lower is nice,” said Holly Smith, traveling by car.

While most Americans will be hitting the road for Thanksgiving weekend, AAA predicts about 4 million will be traveling by air–a three percent increase from last year.

“My family is down in Florida, so we figure get out of the cold and go see my family who I haven’t seen in a while,” said Kevin Cooper, traveling by air.

Most Americans are budgeting more for their holiday travel, whether by air or by land. And while the high volume of travelers may cause headaches for some, many say it’s definitely worth it.

“You know, it’s the holiday season and you’re going to see loved ones. So it’s something you’ve got to deal with,” said Jonathan Carpenter, traveling by air and by land.

About 90 percent of travelers will be driving. If you want to avoid that congestion, it’s recommended to not drive during peak hours, which are between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Off-peak hours include:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 25 and Wednesday, Nov. 26 — before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Nov. 30 — before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.


According to the MDTA, around 2.6 million will travel through these following Maryland routes:

  • Fort McHenry Tunnel,
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway
  • William Preston Lance Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge
  • Francis Scott Key Bridge
  • Baltimore Harbor Tunnel
  • Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge
  • Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge


Follow @CBSBaltimore and MDTA on Twitter for any major incidents.

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