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Today's read: a holiday driving prediction

More driving this holiday season: That's what AAA predicts. The travel organization pointed to a longtime trend in which air travel continues to decline as a percentage of total Thanksgiving travel. Since 2000, the number of Americans traveling by air during the Thanksgiving weekend has dropped 62 percent. (Sholnn Freeman)

I'm writing up some suggestions about the holiday getaway for drivers, to appear on Sunday's Commuter page in The Post, and I plan to post some blog entries combining the advice I get from travel experts and officials with the advice I've gotten from you. I collect the getaway advice you send to me at drgridlock@washpost.com, here on the blog and on our new discussion group, called Taken for a Ride.

The holiday time drives get to be something of an obsession with me and my readers. I get inquiries all the time about best routes and best times to travel. (You veteran travelers know this is not exactly a science, but I try to offer options and issues to think about.)

I can illustrate the variety of inquiries with this one that came in on Wednesday. It also shows that there are many reasons people take to the roads over the holidays:

Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I recently got a job in DC (yay!) and, due to start dates and such, am forced to move from NYC to DC over the Thanksgiving weekend (boo!). I was planning on driving down to DC on Saturday, the 28th. Here are my questions:

1. Do you think Saturday is the best option? Will leaving earlier in the day be better? Will I be traveling with traffic, against traffic, or are all bets off because of the holiday?

2. Do you suggest another route other than the possible horrors of 95?

Dr. G: I said yes to Saturday and leaving early. I think that on Saturday, out of all the days of the long Thanksgiving weekend, sticking to I-95 should be better than any of the longer-mileage alternatives.

By Robert Thomson  |  November 19, 2009; 8:46 AM ET
Categories:  Getaway , holiday travel  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's Read  
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