Thanksgiving travel likely to be busiest in 13 years

Posted at 3:53 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 17:53:39-05

The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and Triple A is confident we will see a near 5% increase in travelers this Thanksgiving, with the 2018 holiday weekend seeing the highest travel volume in 13 years.

"Nationally that's going to be about 54.3 million travelers, and here in Idaho it's going to be about 287,000," said Matthew Conde with Idaho Triple A.

Whether getting behind the wheel or going up in the air, added traffic is going to be the biggest setback in travel time since 2005. An added 31-cents to our national average gas price in the last year doesn't seem to be deterring many travelers. Conde said “that's now kind of seen as an essential investment."

Triple A said that's partly because consumer confidence is so high, "This is the highest confidence people have had since before the dot-com bubble burst back in the year 2000," said Conde.

Which goes hand in hand with a relatively high disposable income and an unemployment rate being the lowest in nearly 50 years.

But no amount of cash is going to make traffic go away. Leaving an added 2.5 million more people required to budget more time.

"During the busiest travel days, which are Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and then also Saturday, Sunday, Monday following, we could see up to 15,000 passengers travel through the Boise airport each day," said Sean Briggs, Marketing Manager at the Boise Airport.

But to alleviate the extra pressure, the Boise Airport has opened their economy parking lot through the weekend and is providing a shuttle to move people every 15 minutes from the lot.

"We recommend that passengers show up two hours before departure. That way they have plenty of time to check in, get through security, and get to their gate," said Briggs.

And if your holiday travels are taking you into the mountains this weekend, you'll likely run into some snow. Tomorrow we'll talk to a local tire expert on the best steps you can take to ensure a safe drive.