More than 55 million Americans plan to travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving week, according to AAA.. This will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000; second only to 2005.
Compared to last year, 1.6 million more Americans will travel for this year’s holiday.
“Strong economic fundamentals are motivating Americans to travel this Thanksgiving in near-record numbers,” said Mark Jenkins AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.
The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations. Late Wednesday afternoon is forecast to be the worst travel period nationally, with trips taking as much at four times longer than normal in major metro areas. Drivers should expect the heaviest highway congestion on Wednesday, from 3pm-8pm.
AAA expects gas prices to be fairly similar to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, which averaged $2.45.
49.3 million travelers will hit the road this Thanksgiving, the most since 2005 and 2.8% more than last year. 4.45 million Americans are expected to fly, up 4.6%. Travel by trains, buses and other modes will reach 1.49 million, a slight increase of 1.4% from 2018.
Analysis of AAA’s flight booking data from the last three years revealed that flying Thanksgiving Day is the cheapest with an average ticket price of $454. The Monday before the Thanksgiving travel rush is the second cheapest option for travelers with an average ticket price of $486.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving, Dec. 1, is poised to be the busiest travel day ever recorded for the U.S. airline industry, with 3.1 million passengers expected to fly according to Airlines for America, a trade association and lobbying group based in Washington, D.C. that represents major North American airlines