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Planes, trains and automobiles: Thanksgiving holiday travel expected to be busiest in more than a decade

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) The busiest travel day of the year is underway. AAA expects more than 54 million Americans to travel this Thanksgiving - making it the busiest for holiday travel in more than a dozen years.

No matter how you spin it, traveling for the holidays can be stressful.

If you’re traveling by car, get ready to be bumper to bumper and make a lot of new friends.

MICHAEL PYRITZ Regional Communications manager for WISDOT Southeast Region) "We're expecting huge numbers of people getting out onto the road," said Michael Pyritz, regional communications manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Southeast Region. 

AAA predicts the vast majority - about 48.5 million will be driving and that means mind your p’s and q’s to out-of-town drivers.

"If you see somebody driving and they look a little nervous, give them extra space," Pyritz said.

Then there's traveling by airport - the long security lines that can get travelers discombobulated, just so they can recombobulate themselves to find their gates. AAA said about 4.27 million people will be traveling by air this weekend.

(Pat Rowe – Spokesperson) "Arriving early is huge," said Pat Rowe, a spokes person for the Mitchell International airport. "It can take a little longer to get through security than on a normal business travel day."

Finally, there's being on time to catch a train.

"Every available railcar is in service," said Marc Magliari, Amtrak's Chicago-based spokesperson. 

Nearly 1.5 million people will be chugging along by train or taking a bus or cruise ship to reach their destinations this weekend.

"We’re not always going to be on time because of so many people boarding and deboarding," Magliari said.

But no matter how you travel and how stressed out you might be remember why you’re traveling in the first place

"We’re going to see my son," one man said. 

"We’re going to go see family," one woman said. 

"You get to see family so it’s worth it," said one teen.

And most of all, remember to pack your patience. 

Experts also said if you think today is bad, Sunday will be worse. Travel experts said more and more people are staggering the day the head out for the holiday, but Sunday, most people will need to be back to get ready for work and go back to school so patience will be needed all weekend long.

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