ILLINOIS (WIFR) - AAA estimates 50.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for their turkey dinner.
"Most people I know, I think are...are traveling. I think family is important, and I think people realize that. I feel like the farther you are away, the more you want to get back and see them," future traveler Brennen Beyer said.
Beyer plans to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday, but has plenty of plans for travel before and after.
"For Christmas, we're actually going to Florida with my sisters, and then we'll get back Christmas Eve to my parents' house."
With the number of travelers up 3.3% this year, AAA says travel times in most congested cities could be as much as three times longer than the best trip.
Experts say nearly 2.7 million people will travel in Illinois, up 3.1% from last year. Of those, 2.4 million plan to drive and 207,000 booked flights.
Jim Wolfe is on the road a lot. He often travels to watch his son who wrestles. Wolfe prefers to drive, and believes more people may join him on the roads because gas isn't too expensive.
"It's expensive to fly out to Philadelphia or North Carolina. It's much cheaper to drive," Wolfe said.
AAA says we can expect to pay the cheapest airfare since 2013 during the Thanksgiving weekend while gas prices will be the highest for the weekend since 2015. People using alternative travel, including buses and cruises, is expected to increase 1.1% to roughly 1.48 million travelers.
Experts go on to say more than 330,000 people will likely need to be rescued during their travels because of lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. They suggest having a vehicle inspection before hitting the road.
The worst time to travel through the Chicago-land area is expected to be between 5 and 6 p.m. Tuesday with the I-90 W at 1-90 being the traffic hot spot.