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Tomorrow morning my family will embark on the 20 hour journey to spend Thanksgiving with my parents.
The 20 hours are usually spent watching movies, 'seeing America and American's unlike ourselves, eating too much food that we normally do not eat, and hosting a bit of inner family squabbling.

Despite the fact that 20 hours may seem like a tedious adventure that we are getting tired of doing, this year we will be embracing it as if it could be our last. Kids in college and elderly parents are encroaching on our family tradition.

There will be many other American families starting, continuing, and ending their Thanksgiving tradition of travel as well. According to the BTS, the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent, and during the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year.

Ironically, media attention focuses on crowded airports and bus and train stations, as 91 percent of the travel is by personal vehicle, such as by car. We tend to think that the busiest travel days are the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving. However, when personal vehicle trips are added to the mix the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reveals that Thanksgiving Day is actually a heavier long-distance travel day than Wednesday.

Will you be traveling this Thanksgiving?

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Comment by Deanna on November 24, 2008 at 7:57am
We will not be traveling this holiday season, we rarely do. Although all our family lives far from us, we don't make the trip. Our phone gets a good work out though! Hope your trip is/was safe and Happy Holidays!

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