The Thanksgiving Holiday Travel period is upon us, with the bulk of the travelers getting on the roads, onto trains, onto buses or onto planes for the week. The bulk of the travel takes place from Wednesday, November 24 through Sunday, November 29.

AAA forecasts 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.6 percent increase over the 46.6 million people who traveled last year and the most since 2007.

The price of gasoline has dropped and it is speculated that will encourage some to travel further this year.

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares are projected to decrease 10 percent this Thanksgiving, landing at an average of $169 roundtrip across the top 40 domestic flight routes

Last year, Amtrak carried a record 772,211 passengers during the Thanksgiving travel period, the most ever for the holiday. Similar passenger counts are anticipated this year, according to Amtrak personnel. Amtrak plans to add trains to help with getting more passengers to their destination.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has reported there have been 139 vehicle fatalities in 2015 for Troop A, which services Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Henry, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Plate, Ray and Saline Counties. This is already up 12% compared to 2014 figures.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is preparing for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend in the area, with a program called Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). During this operation, troopers will be assigned to 20-mile stretches of Interstates 70, 49, 470, and U.S. Highway 50. Enforcement efforts on secondary roads will be conducted during the same timeframe within Troop A. Over the entire holiday weekend troopers will be vigorously enforcing all traffic laws and helping motorists in need of assistance.

"We want everyone’s Thanksgiving to be safe and enjoyable, especially as you travel on Missouri’s highways," stated Captain Scott Shipers. "The Thanksgiving holiday is typically one of the most traveled holidays of the year, and I would like to urge all motorists to make sure safe driving is a part of your plans. Make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt, and never drink and drive."

Even Greyhound Bus is expecting a lot more travelers during this week.

"We expect the highest demand to be on Nov. 24, 25 and Nov. 29," said Bill Blankenship, chief operating officer, Greyhound Lines, Inc. "Holiday travel can be stressful, but our customers can sit back, relax and enjoy a hassle-free end-to-end travel experience riding on one of the more than 1,200 new coaches that feature modern on-board amenities such as free Wi-Fi, power outlets, leather seats, extra legroom, footrests and restrooms."

Regardless of how you travel, be careful, take your time, buckle up and don't text and drive and don't drink and drive and have a Happy Thanksgiving.


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