Road congestion expected for holiday travel

Majority of travelers will be driving to their destination

THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - You should expect busy roads the next few days as the majority of holiday travelers will be driving to their destination.

AAA is estimating that 90% of Thanksgiving travelers will be hitting the roads this holiday. Wednesday and Sunday are the most traveled days of the weekend. KESQ spoke to troopers with the California Highway Patrol, and some local residents, to learn some turkey day travel tips.

Charles Rodgers is from St. Paul, Minnesota and is making his family come to him this year

"It's too short a weekend. You get Christmas, New Year's, that's two holidays, it's worth the travel. Otherwise, it's too far. It's pretty cold there, too," Rodgers said.

But 39M Americans are expected to travel by roadway between Wednesday and Sunday. Gas prices hit the lowest levels for the Thanksgiving holiday since 2010. The average price in Riverside County is $3.57; that's 20 cents cheaper than last year. It's important to note because filling up your gas tank is one way the CHP says you should prepare for the road.

"Make sure your vehicle is in working order, make sure you have plenty of gas, that your tires have plenty of air in them, check your fluids, and it's good to keep an emergency kit with you," said Officer Radford.

Radford also suggests checking the weather for your travel path. Something Amy Smith did before her flight from Sandy, Utah, to Palm Desert.

"One airport is closed back east, and it affects everything even on the West Coast, so now if you're smart you can drive but the weather isn't good on the east, either," said Smith.

If you do have to pass through a storm, Smith says from experience, there is a way to make a delay less miserable.

"If you don't have to check a bag, don't check a bag either. Then you have something with you if you get stuck in an airport."

Sunday is expected to be the second busies travel day this week as people return from their trips, to avoid traffic, you may need to adjust your plans like Smith.

"Well I was going to go home Sunday but I'm not, I'm going to go home Monday instead."

Temporary holiday parking is up and operating Wednesday morning at the Palm Springs Airport at the economy parking lot. It will cost you $10 a day.

Airport officials also suggest arriving an hour and a half ahead of time.

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