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Thanksgiving Travel Myths You Need to Rethink

Travelers Today       By    Staff Reporter

Updated: Dec 03, 2019 10:38 AM EST

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Thanksgiving

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Traveling around Thanksgiving has become somewhat of a boogeyman for many people around the country. There are a lot of Thanksgiving travel myths circulating around. Data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and AAA show these travel myths.

30 million Americans travel during the holidays. Suddenly those dreams of watching football and the parade with all of your nearest and dearest can seem more like a pain than a pleasure when you realize you have to travel for Thanksgiving. Most travelers dread Thanksgiving travel. It would be better if we were all on the same page with the same reliable information. Thanksgiving travel has a horrible reputation of delays, crowds and hiked up prices. 

This will help you plan ahead to a key to a less confusing and stressful trip. Many of the tricks self-styled experts are either outdated or simply wrong and if you blindly follow them, you could be missing out on better deals and paying more than you need to.

It seems like a good time to take stock of some conventional wisdom that always seem to flood the mainstream media at this time of year.

1. Myth: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest air travel day.

Are there actually more people traveling than any other time of the year?

You should be more concerned about your return flight on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The busiest air travel day of 2018 was November 25, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, according the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The same goes for 2015 and 2016 (This trend is likely to be repeated in 2019), while July 14 (the peak of summer) was the busiest air travel day for 2017.

2. Myth: Your flight is more likely to be delayed on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year.

Traveling in the week leading up to Thanksgiving may sound exhausting. This myth has led to the illusion of longer lines and lengthy delays. Delays on Thanksgiving remain average, according to reports. In 2018, 81.21% of flights in November left on time - better than May, June, July, and August which proves that November actually proves to be one of the best months for on-time departures, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The flights with the lowest on-time arrival percentages every year on domestic flights are usually in December or January.

3. Myth: Last-minute deals don't exist for Thanksgiving.

According to the AAA, there are always seats the closer it gets to the holiday that airlines are looking to fill. Many airlines and websites hold out until the last moment before dropping deep discounts on travel. Also, last-minute deals on hotels the week of Thanksgiving are possible as there are more options than there are flights generally. Keep in mind that there are plenty of other would-be travelers out there looking out for the best Thanksgiving travel deals.

4. Myth: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest car travel day.

It is a busy day, but the Thanksgiving Eve car commute is not really all that bad because 50% of people driving home for the holiday wait until Thursday morning to hit the road.

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Amazing Destinations to Celebrate Thanksgiving

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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Holiday Travel, rumors
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