Nearly 51 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Turkey with all the trimmings has a lot of people hitting the road for that holiday meal. AAA anticipates nearly 51 million Americans will be heading somewhere to be with family, which is more than three percent increase over last year. They also say more than 40 million will hit the road for the holiday.

"Here in Florida we expect high amounts of traffic volume especially during the holiday season, so Thanksgiving will be no different. We expect to see a lot more travelers on the road coming up this holiday weekend," said Ian Satter, a spokesperson with the Florida Department of Transportation.

One Panama City Beach resident we spoke with plans to drive nearly 12 hours for his Thanksgiving dinner.

"I mean I always drive when I go home, you know, Key West that's just how we've always done it. The flight is just too expensive, because of the small airport down here, so it's just easier to drive," said Glados Perdomo.

While the roads will be busy, the skies will be as well. AAA anticipates nearly four million people will be traveling by airplane.

"As with most airports in the nation this is one of our busiest, if the not the busiest, holiday of the whole year," said Richard McConnell, deputy executive director of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.

Airport officials tell us Delta, United, and Southwest are booking up fast.

"Right now all of our carriers are reporting in that they're going to be 90-95 percent full for the week," said McConnell.

AAA predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of traffic during the early evening on Tuesday. Make sure to pack some patience.

Florida Highway Patrol officials suggest you leave early for your Thanksgiving plans and don't speed.