More than 53.4 million people are expected to travel this Thanksgiving, according to the AAA, a 13 percent rise from last year.

The figure brings travel volumes within five percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, with air travel almost completely recovering from its dramatic fall during the pandemic. 90 percent of people are expected to travel by car as their preferred mode of transport this year.

“This Thanksgiving, travel will look a lot different than last year,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President, AAA Travel.

“Now that the borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with their loved ones for the holiday.”

With 6.4 million more people traveling this Thanksgiving, coupled with the recent opening of the US borders to fully vaccinated international travelers, the AAA is urging people to prepare for roads and airports being noticeably more crowded.

The AAA offers the following tips for travelers:

  • Be proactive. Book flights, car rentals, accommodations, and other activities as early as possible.
  • Be patient. The roads and airports will be busy so plan ahead.
  • Arrive at the airport early so you have plenty of time to get through.
  • Hit the road when there’s less traffic and allow for extra time when traveling to your destination.
  • Be prepared. For the 48.3 million Americans hitting the road, make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the trip ahead as AAA expects to deal with over 400,000 requests for help over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.