Consumer Alert: AAA warns Thanksgiving travel will be heavy. The one thing you need to know about the NY Thruway

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — If you’re planning to travel for Thanksgiving, you’re not alone. The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts a big increase this year in the number of Thanksgiving travelers. It means we all need snacks. If you’re a parent of young children, you know there’s nothing worse than waiting in a long line with a fussy toddler. But when my oldest was little, grapes made everything better.

So whatever is your little one’s snack of choice… make sure it’s readily available because the lines will be long. AAA predicts that 53.4 million folks will fill planes, trains, and automobiles to get to grandma this year. That’s a 13% jump over last year, and only 5% fewer than the number of travelers in 2019 before the pandemic.

But get this: Airline travel is expected to be at about pre-pandemic levels. But the number of airline employees is not. And lots of passengers plus too few staffers equal long lines and delayed flights, an equation for misery. So make sure the airline has your cell number so they can contact you. Pack your masks and wipes, and remember no liquids are allowed unless they’re travel-sized. Also, remember to wear shoes without laces so you can slip them off easily at TSA checkpoints.

If you’re traveling across New York by car AAA has an important piece of advice.

"Thruway construction continues,” warned April Engram, a communications specialist with AAA Western & Central New York. “The project is in phases so it doesn’t impact the entire stretch of the Thruway, but where the construction is taking place every other rest stop has access to amenities — the restroom and food and beverage services. But fuel services will be available at all the locations so that should not be a concern to people on the Thruway.”

That’s crucial for traveling families. Closed restrooms when everyone needs to use one can really ruin a road trip.

Engram said there’s good and bad news on the gas front. Gas is still high but stable. The average price in Rochester is still $3.53. That’s the same as last week.

Before you hit the road, with the help of AAA, Here’s Deanna’s Do List.

  • Check your tire pressure. The right pressure gets the best gas mileage.
  • Avoid hitting big cities during rush hour especially on Wednesday, one of the heaviest travel days. The other is Sunday.
  • Accelerate slowly.
  • Glide to a stop.
  • Don’t speed.
  • Use your cruise control whenever possible.
  • And remember the snacks. That general rule applies to those of us hitting the road as well.

And because parts of the thruway are under construction, Moms and Dads may have to plan Junior’s potty breaks. The Thruway Authority has information about that for you. Click here.