Massive delays are forecast at airports next weekend, as travelers struggle to find parking places for vehicles and then make it through security. Gasoline prices are averaging $3.11 a gallon at a time of the year when they are typically down. You might think all this would prompt many people to stay home.
Nevertheless, a record 38.7 million Americans are expected to be on the move next week as the annual trek to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving takes place.
The AAA offered that forecast Thursday, saying 1.6 percent more Americans will travel at least 50 miles this year over the long Thanksgiving weekend compared to 2006. The crowds, the high fuel prices, the congested highways — none of that will apparently deter us from making our trips.
Perhaps it’s a reaction to predictions that gasoline prices will rise another 10 cents by December. If it happens, a trip to see relatives will cost even more at Christmas.
We will endure anything to have a happy holiday.
Despite the focus on the logjams looking at major airports, the vast majority of Thanksgiving travelers will be taking their automobiles. Some 31.2 million motorists will hit the road for Thanksgiving, a 1.3 percent increase from last year. Another 4.7 million will travel by air, and the remainder will go by train, bus or other transportation.
Drivers would do themselves and others on the highways a favor if they obey the rules of the road and, as the Texas slogan says, “drive friendly.” Thanksgiving travelers can expect to see plenty of Highway Patrol troopers on Texas roadways, the Department of Public Safety said, and those troopers will be looking for drivers who are speeding, driving while intoxicated or who are not properly restrained, or have passengers who aren’t buckled up.
This weekend is a holiday to give thanks — not to grieve. Those who are traveling can make this Thanksgiving another happy one by being cautious, being courteous and obeying the law.