Thanksgiving travel supposed to be busiest we've seen in a decade

Posted at 6:43 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 19:43:06-05

The day before Thanksgiving is supposed to be the busiest travel day of the year.

To top it off this year, AAA predicts more people will be traveling over Thanksgiving weekend than we’ve seen in the past decade.  

Romell and Penny Jenkins of Milwaukee filled up their gas tank Wednesday morning before heading to Chicago. 

“We shouldn’t be no more than a couple hours to go see family,” Jenkins said. 

It’s a Jenkins holiday tradition, but this year, an 11-mile stretch of construction along I-94 had them leaving earlier than usual. Near the Foxconn site in Racine County, the interstate is down to two lanes each way for the I-94 north/south project. 

“It’s going to be hectic, real hectic,” he said. 

AAA estimates a million Wisconsinites will be driving at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving. For those who aren’t up for bumper-to-bumper traffic, a round-trip train ride to the Windy City might be a better fit. 

“This is our second busiest day of the year. Thanksgiving is our busiest week,” said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. “If you think today is busy come back out on Sunday.” 

Air travel is also supposed to be up by more than 5-percent this holiday weekend. AAA predicts 92,000 Wisconsinites will be taking flight. For Joey Thims and her fiancé, its the only way to travel all the way to Dallas, Texas. 

“We parked no problem, checked in, 1, 2, 3 and now we’re going to get to go through here, looks like 1, 2, 3,” she said. 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation warned drivers that Sunday could be just as bad. Spokesman Michael Pyritz suggests avoiding the I-94 north/south construction in Racine County on Sunday from noon to 8:00 p.m.