AAA predicts 51 million travelers this Thanksgiving, highest volume since 2005

"So many more people are doing pre-holiday trips to take in all the experiences created to get people into the spirit of the season", said travel expert Jeanenne Tornatore.

Almost 51 million Americans are expected to travel next week, up just over three percent from a year ago.

The number of USA travellers hitting the road over the Thanksgiving holiday is expected to swell to levels not seen in more than a decade, triggering what could be "record" traffic delays in some of the country's biggest cities, says the American Automobile Association.

AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the USA during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip. The U.S. average price is $2.56, compared to $2.15 a year ago. "Oil prices reached 2-year highs last week, causing the sudden jump at the pump".

The AAA poll says a strong economy and high consumer confidence are contributing to the desire to travel, or at least provide the finances.


The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26, according to AAA.

Road trip ready: 89 percent of all travelers - 45.5 million - are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, an increase of 3.2 percent over past year.

Idaho's current average price for regular gasoline is $2.65.

In Florida, 190,720 are expected to take a flight, a 4.5 percent over a year ago, AAA said. Airline travel will be up 5 percent to 3.95 million travelers, and consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013.

In Virginia, more than 1,270,000 are expected to travel by automobile, 103,000 will travel by plane and 30,000 will be using other modes of transportation. That despite gas prices which are 60 to 70 cents per gallon higher this year than last. Air fares are at their lowest levels in five years for a round-trip flight for the top 40 domestic routes, AAA said.


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