If you're on the go for Thanksgiving, here's what you need to know
Michigan is expected to see a record number of travelers this week, the most since 2007, with cheaper gas and a cold but dry Thanksgiving Day, according to those who monitor holiday travel and trends.
AAA of Michigan has projected roughly 1.7 million travelers between Wednesday through Sunday, with about 1.5 milliontaking to the state’s roads. The number of people traveling 50 miles or more is expected to be up 5 percent compared to last year, the ninth consecutive year of travel growth and the most since 2007.
A plus for those on the road: Motorists in southeast Michigan will encounter fewer highway work obstacles, according to Diane Cross of the Michigan Department of Transportation.
“There are areas that will still have some detours, such as westbound 696, and southbound 75 is down to one lane between Clark and Springwells,” said Cross. “But generally speaking, barring emergencies, we will be postponing highway maintenance work for a few days this week, including near the shopping malls.”
Detroit Metropolitan Airport expects nearly 900,000 travelers this holiday season, up 2 percent from last year.
During the Thanksgiving travel period of Wednesday to Sunday, 5,000 more travelers are expected compared to 2017, according to airport officials.
Detroit Metropolitan Airport has several tips for travelers:
•The airport recommends arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.
•Don’t wrap gifts before traveling. Those packages may need to be be opened by the Transportation Security Administration.
•Check bags for prohibited items before arriving at the airport. For a list of prohibited items, go to tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers several tips for those heading to Canada during the Thanksgiving holiday and for Black Friday shopping.
Travelers should have the appropriate travel documents. Approved items include passports, U.S. passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses. A full list is available at cbp.gov/travel.
Be prepared for the inspection process by having travel documents in hand before arriving at the inspection booth. Before entering the inspection area, end phone conversations, roll down vehicle windows and remove hats and sunglasses.
Travelers should give themselves extra time. Check traffic conditions at the border via CBP’s Border Wait Time APP available in Google Play and Apple App store.
Be aware of restrictions. There are numerous restrictions on fruits, meats
and plants. Check the CBP website before bringing agricultural products into the U.S.
On Monday evening, Rosemary Jackson waited to board a bus at the Greyhound station in Detroit. Her destination: Yazoo City, Mississippi, to visit her in-laws. It's a trip she hasn't made in about 20 years.
Jackson, 57, said she's a little nervous about the trip, but looks forward to traveling for Thanksgiving.
"It'll be a real break for me because I'm not cooking," Jackson said. "It's going to be a blessing for me."
Not leaving town? There's the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Turkey Trot and the Detroit Lions game in Detroit on Thursday. Beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. Thursday, Detroit travelers can expect some road and freeway ramp closures, Cross said.
Woodward will be closed from West Grand Boulevard to Jefferson beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday for the Thursday parade, the city of Detroit said. Other streets will be closed for the Turkey Trot, including the southbound Lodge exits at West Jefferson/Cobo and Larned (Exits 1A and B) and the northbound Lodge exit at West Jefferson (Exit 1A).
The People Mover will be available for free from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, the city said.
Weather is expected to cooperate, at least in Michigan. Neither rain nor snow is forecast on Thursday’s big parade.
Alex Manion, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s White Lake Township office, said conditions are expected “to be dry all day on Thursday,” partly sunny with a high near 29.
Michigan drivers probably will be thankful that they can fuel up at an average of$2.49 a gallon on Monday, down from around $2.65 a gallon the same time a year ago, and well below a current national average of $2.63 a gallon, according to AAA's website.
For those looking for a Thanksgiving meal, there are placesa few options in Metro Detroit that serve up a fine feast.
•Lily's Seafood Grill & Brewery in Royal Oak is accepting reservations for its annual Family Style, Thanksgiving Feast from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday.
•Camp Ticonderoga in Troy will offer a limited menu from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
•D’Amato’s Italian Restaurant in Royal Oak will be open 5-10 p.m. on Thursday.
•Fishbone's restaurants in Detroit, St. Clair Shores and Southfield will open at 9:30 a.m. Thursday to serve a Thanksgiving Brunch.