Over The River & Through The Woods

People stand in line while they inch closer to the security check point at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport November 23, 2005 in Arlington, Virginia.
Getty Images/Mark Wilson
If you're traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, you've got plenty of company and chances are, they'll be right near your bumper - or your elbow, if you are one of the many looking to board a plane for your holiday destination.

CBS News correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi reports that the highest Thanksgiving gas prices ever aren't expected to keep travelers from driving either. As one traveler put it, "Grandma doesn't care how much it costs to fill up or how long it takes to get there."

Gasoline at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike was $2.17 a gallon, reports CBS News correspondent Steve Kathan. "That's up about a quarter from last Thanksgiving, but it feels like a price break for many drivers, who were shelling out $3 a gallon just a few months ago."

Now is the best time to leave, American Automobile Association spokesman Justin McNaull told CBS News Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. The worst?

"Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday evening, you end up with holiday travelers, last-minute grocery shoppers and commuters on the road at the same time. And whatever incidents have happened during the morning or early afternoon are going to compound by the time you get to evening," said McNaull.

But even leaving early Wednesday might not have been good enough: A tanker truck carrying 8,700 gallons of gasoline exploded on Interstate 95 just north of Washington, D.C., early Wednesday, blocking commuters and holiday traffic for miles.

If you're flying, you have lots to think about: what to pack — and leave behind — what to wear and how early to get to the airport.

"One look at LaGuardia airport you have to wonder why anyone wants to travel today and especially fly," said Alfonsi on CBS News' The Early Show. "An hour to get your ticket and luggage through, another hour through security. The place is packed."

Alfonsi then boarded a plane from New York to Miami — which was delayed.

Officials at Detroit Metro Airport were advising travelers to arrive two to three hours before their flights, but Ron Dewey of CBS radio station WWJ-AM reports travelers were taking heed.

Tight security, new technology and airlines' financial woes are making air travel more complicated than ever this Thanksgiving, when many travelers take their one big trip of the year.

To compound the problem, more people are flying and fewer planes are being added to the mix, reports Alfonsi. Typically, about 70 percent of seats are filled. This year, it's more like 95 percent.

For the infrequent flyer, there's much to remember even before leaving home. There's the Transportation Security Administration's list of items that can't go into the passenger cabin, such as scissors, small knives and cigarette lighters.

Don't forget to wear sensible footwear, like loafers, since you'll have to take off your shoes to go through security.