Expect More Drivers On The Road This Thanksgiving

AAA projects that nearly 51-million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving – a 3-point-3 percent increase over last year.

For travelers hoping to avoid the crowds and lines at the airport by driving, Kansas State University assistant professor of hospitality management, Kristen Malek, thinks they may be surprised by the heavy traffic on the roadways.

A big reason so many people are choosing driving over flying is because gas prices are still relatively low – with a national average of $2.54 a gallon.

If you’re traveling with children, especially by car, Malek recommends packing plenty of toys and games – and if allowed – movies for kids to watch to help make travel over long periods easier. If you’re flying, plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance. During the week of Thanksgiving, Malek says Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday are the worst days for air travel

Due to an increased risk for lost or missing luggage, Malek suggests taking a carry-on bag with you – especially for electronics, clothing and personal care items. Anything larger than a cell phone will need to be screened by the Transportation Security Administration. To speed up the boarding process, keep those items easily accessible in your carry-on. More travel tips are available at: tsa.gov.

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.