WASHINGTON - The Thanksgiving holiday rush began Wednesday as area roads and airports swelled with travelers making their way home.
It is expected that 43.5 million Americans are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, says AAA, with many of them traveling to and from the D.C. region. According to AAA, 1.3 million Virginians will travel 50 miles or more from home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, the Maryland Transportation Authority expects 2.7 million travelers on the state's highways during the holiday period.
But FOX 5's Lauren DeMarco found that traffic on the roadways around the DMV was not much of an issue Wednesday evening, only encountering a little bit of a slowdown for those heading to local airports. Meanwhile, security lines at Reagan National Airport and BWI Airport were pretty much non-existent for the most part.
AAA also warned of an increase in alcohol and drug-related highway crashes over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving - which goes by names like "Blackout Wednesday" or "Drinksgiving" - has overtaken New Years for the highest number alcohol-impaired driving deaths, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
According to Google Maps and Google Trends, this past Sunday was the best day to travel home for Thanksgiving. They recommend making your return trip by 6 a.m. on the Friday after the feast.
As for the worst times to travel, the report says 3 p.m. on Wednesday will get you stuck in the most traffic. 4 p.m. on the Saturday after the holiday is noted as the worst time to head home.
At the airports, long lines greeted travelers anxious to board their flights. Wait times of 30 minutes or more were seen at TSA check-points at Reagan National Airport.
TSA recommends their PreCheck service, especially during peak travel times like Thanksgiving.