Thanksgiving travel is set to hit its highest numbers since 2005, creating congestion for the roads and skies
Believe it or not, we are officially two weeks away from the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is infamous for the amount of travel it creates nationwide.
According to AAA, Americans can expect to experience more Thanksgiving-based traffic this year than there has been since 2005. In fact, an estimated 54.3 million Americans are expected to travel for the holiday.
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That estimate is up 4.8 percent compared to the number of Americans who traveled for Thanksgiving last year. Altogether, an additional 2.5 million Americans will make a trip of more than 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Consumers have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season: higher wages, more disposable income and rising levels of household wealth,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA Travel senior vice president. “This is translating into more travelers kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway, building on a positive year for the travel industry.”
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The vast majority of those travelers will use their own cars to reach their destinations. AAA estimates that 48.5 million Americans will travel on the road for Thanksgiving.
Not even high gas prices will discourage travelers. Gas is currently $2.79 per gallon on average, $0.31 per gallon more than a year ago.
That increased traffic will create congestion throughout the week for some of America’s largest metro areas. For example, traffic is set to be four times worse than usual on Wednesday in San Francisco.
Of course, many other Americans will be traveling by plane. Air traffic is set to increase 5.4 percent this Thanksgiving, with 4.27 million Americans boarding planes to reach destinations across the country.
Flying certainly won’t be cheap around the Thanksgiving season. Indeed, ticket prices could exceed $500, depending on the destination.
Finally, the number of Americans traveling by train, bus, or boat will increase 1.4 percent. AAA projects that a total of 1.48 million Americans will travel by means of these additional forms of transportation.
So, where are these Americans heading? Unsurprisingly, the top destination is Orlando, Florida, followed closely by New York City and Anaheim, California.
Several Americans will be heading out of the country for Thanksgiving. Some of the top international destinations include Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Cancun, Mexico.
If you’re planning a Thanksgiving road trip of your own, just keep in mind that you won’t be the only one with that idea. It may be a good idea to plan an alternate route to grandmother’s house. Say, perhaps, over the river and through the woods?
Zachary Berry currently resides in the Dayton, Ohio area. However, he enjoys traveling from place to place, as he was born in Oklahoma City and has also lived in Albuquerque and Orlando (such is the life of a military brat). Zachary graduated from Ohio University with a major in Strategic Communication, which is fancy talk for advertising and public relations. Beginning his career at The News Wheel as a lowly intern, he was able to climb his way to the top, eventually claiming his place within the last cubicle on the left. Other jobs that Zachary has held include driving around a safari truck at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When he’s not putting his nose to the grindstone, Zachary enjoys watching and critiquing movies and television. See more articles by Zachary.