NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — AAA is releasing their 2022 holiday travel forecast, estimating 2.6 million Tennesseans will travel 50 miles or more from Dec. 23 – Jan. 2.

That is 107,000 more people than last year and the third highest on record for year-end holiday travel in Tennessee.

“We’re seeing a lot of people move to our state. So, even on a typical day in Nashville, we’re seeing that congestion,” said Megan Cooper, spokesperson for AAA Tennessee. “That opens up the more chance, the more possibility that something can happen on the roadway.”

A study by LendingTree places Tennessee as the 22nd riskiest state for travel based on driving factors alone. With doctors fearing a tripledemic of the flu, RSV, and COVID-19, LendingTree ranks Tennessee as the seventh riskiest state for travel based on health factors alone.

Nationally, the study says southern states pose a greater health risk and western states pose a greater driving risk.

AAA said they expect auto travel to be up 3% from 2021, air travel up 14%, and other modes including bus, rail, and cruise ship to be up 21%.

“We aren’t back to pre-pandemic levels yet, but we are still seeing a lot of people traveling,” said Cooper. “If you’re traveling, just know that you’re going to have a lot of company, so give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Pack your patience, know that you’re going to have a lot of people traveling with you, and really just plan ahead, be flexible, and stay safe and fun over this holiday season.” 

According to INRIX, a provider of transportation analytics and insights, the single busiest travel day will be Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Best & Worst Times to Travel by Car

DateWorst travel timeBest travel time
12/23/224:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
12/24/2212:00-6:00 PMBefore 11:00 AM, After 7:00 PM
12/25/22 – Minimal Traffic Expected
12/26/222:00-6:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM, After 7:00 PM
12/27/223:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
12/28/223:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
12/29/223:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
12/30/223:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
12/31/22 – Minimal Traffic Expected
1/1/23 – Minimal Traffic Expected
1/2/234:00-7:00 PMBefore 3:00 PM, After 8:00 PM