AAA Travel forecasts 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.6 percent increase over the 46.6 million people who traveled last year and the most since 2007. With 300,000 additional holiday travelers, this marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel.
“This Thanksgiving, the greatest number of Americans since 2007 will carve out time to visit family and friends,” said Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Northeast Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “While many people remain cautious about the economy and their finances, many thankful Americans continue to put a premium on traveling to spend the holiday with loved ones.”
Despite improvements in the economy, including steady wage growth, rising disposable income and a falling unemployment rate, consumers remain cautious about their finances. However, gas prices average 82 cents less than a year ago, providing an early holiday bonus to the more than 89 percent of holiday travelers who will drive to their destinations.
More than two million New England residents are among those expected to travel, 1.8 million of them by car. Another 226,000 plan to fly to their vacation destinations.
Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving
Nearly 42 million Americans will take a holiday road trip this Thanksgiving, an increase of 0.7 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 0.1 percent, with 3.6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease 1.4 percent this Thanksgiving, to 1.4 million travelers.