Nearly 51 million Americans to travel this Thanksgiving, marking highest volume in 12 years

WCPOPublished: November 16, 2017
Published: November 16, 2017

AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. AAA anticipates we'll see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip. “Thanksgiving kicks off the start of a busy holiday season, and more thankful Americans will travel to spend time with friends and family this year,” said AAA Public Affair Manager, Cindy Antrican. “A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season.” The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26. By the Numbers: 2017 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast Road trip ready: 89 percent of all travelers – 45.5 million – are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, an increase of 3.2 percent over last year. Cheaper airfare: Consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013. Fuller skies: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air travel, at five percent, with 3.95 million travelers. Fueling up: Drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014. Holiday high: Car rental daily rates will hit a five-year holiday high at $70/day, which may be due to an increase in domestic demand and cost of newer vehicles.

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