Thanksgiving Weekend Travel – What To Know In Advance – Everett Post

Over 53 million people nationwide are expected for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the AAA Travel Forecast. About 90 percent will travel by car, the rest will fly or take Amtrak. Here’s what you need to know before you go.


Overall, it seems to rain at times with mild temperatures for the North Sound on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. For those driving into East Washington via the Cascades, snow depths are expected to stay above 5000 feet for the entire weekend. Tick ​​any concerns about winter driving conditions in the mountains.

It will rain in east Washington as well, although it might snow a little on Thanksgiving mornings in some places. High temperatures will mostly be in the upper 30s to mid 40s, with lows near freezing.

If you plan to visit Leavenworth for the opening ceremonies, expect rain during periods of high temperatures around 50 degrees.


According to Washington State Dept of Transportation’s Thanksgiving Weekend Travel Charts, compiled over years of traffic data, the busiest travel days on Stevens Pass east will be Friday and Saturday. Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day themselves have less traffic. Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days to travel back west over Stevens Pass. The peak times are between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Crossing Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 reflects the same trends throughout the holiday weekend, just more cars on the road.

If you’re driving south towards Portland, Wednesday is by far the busiest day, with stop-and-go traffic expected from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at times. The return journey is the busiest on Saturday and Sunday from noon until just before 7 p.m.

There are no travel maps going north to Bellingham, but expect traffic over the holiday weekend that is similar to that of Portland. If you want to avoid delays and frustrations in traffic, travel before or after these busy times.

If you are planning to use the ferry system, keep in mind that Washington State Ferries has a staffing shortage and some schedule adjustments have had to be made. Visit their website for the latest ferry timetables and plan ahead.

Fuel prices

The price of a barrel of oil has fallen about 10 percent in the past week or so, and gas prices should reflect that decline in the coming weeks, likely before the New Year. On this holiday weekend, gasoline prices across Washington averages about $ 3.88 per gallon. That’s about a dollar more than last year’s Thanksgiving weekend during the height of the pandemic, and about 50 cents more than Thanksgiving 2019.

Air travel

Sea-Tac Airport will be a busy place during the holiday weekend. The airport expects about 1.5 million passengers to pass through the airport from Thursday to Monday, almost 150 percent more than last Thanksgiving and almost 90 percent of the total number from 2019. The authorities there ask passengers to 2 hours before their flight times and preferably 3 Arrive hours in advance.

Paine Field in Snohomish County is a different story. The Paine Field passenger terminal will be busier than normal but far less congested than Sea-Tac’s. Alaska Airlines has 13 daily departures from Paine Field, including a new route to Tucson, Arizona.


The Amtrak train service to and from North Sound will also be busy, but has sufficient capacity. According to Amtrak, the busiest travel days are Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Wherever you go on this holiday weekend, plan ahead and travel safely.

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