55.4 mln Americans travel for Thanksgiving Day

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


American Automobile Association projects 55.4 million travellers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving Day holiday travel period.

This year’s Thanksgiving Day forecast is an increase of 2.3% over last year.

It marks the third-highest Thanksgiving Day forecast since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.

The top two years were 2005 and 2019 respectively.

Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel said that for many Americans, Thanksgiving and travel go hand in hand.

This holiday, they expect more people on the roads, skies, and seas compared to 2022.

Travel demand has been strong all year. American Automobile Association’s Thanksgiving forecast reflects that constant desire to get away and spend time with loved ones.

Most Thanksgiving travellers will drive to their destinations. American Automobile Association projects 49.1 million Americans will get behind the wheel.

It is an increase of 1.7% vis-a-vis 2022.

Drivers could be paying less for gas than last Thanksgiving when the national average was $3.58.

This year, the national average peaked in mid-August at $3.87 and has been coming down since, despite global tensions causing ripples through the oil market.

AAA expects 4.7 million people will fly over Thanksgiving. This is an increase of 6.6% vis-a-vis 2022 and the highest number of Thanksgiving air travellers since 2005.

Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving are the busiest air travel days ahead of the holiday and the most expensive.

While Sunday is typically the busiest day to return home, AAA data shows Monday is also a popular day to fly back after Thanksgiving.

The number of people travelling by cruise, bus, and train over Thanksgiving is up nearly 11% over last year.

AAA expects 1.55 million travellers will head out of town using these other modes of transportation. This took a huge hit during the pandemic but have rebounded nicely.

The cruise industry, in particular has made a remarkable comeback, Twidale added.

Thanksgiving cruises are mostly sold out. Many travellers look forward to spending the holiday at sea.

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