Thanksgiving travel expected to be at highest level in 12 years

Thanksgiving travel expected to be at highest level in 12 years

AAA says that its prediction will mean that this is the highest volume of travelers since 2005 at Thanksgiving time, and that these travelers will be driving 50 miles or more for the Holiday.

Martha Mitchell Meade, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, attributed the increase in travelers to more money to spend. It almost matches the nationwide jump of those leaving home for the holiday. AAA says Orlando is America's most popular travel destination over the holiday, while Hertz says it is expected to be the busiest airport in the nation in terms of auto rentals. "A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence".

Most travellers - about 90 per cent, or 45.5 million people - will be on the road; a 3.2 per cent increase in automobile traffic over last year's holiday, according to the pre-holiday analysis.That's despite a higher national average for petrol prices over last year.

This would despite the fact that gas prices are the highest since Thanksgiving 2014. "Although some people may adjust food expenses or other line items in their travel budget, we don't expect fuel prices to stop people from visiting friends and family this Thanksgiving".

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The Thanksgiving period will also see plenty of non-holiday related travel, with Wisconsin's gun deer hunting season taking place the entire holiday weekend.

"Gas prices still aren't bad", said Haugh. The average price at AAA Three Diamond rated accommodations has jumped 14 percent to $176 per night, although rates at Two Diamond rates hotels are down 5 percent to $117.

Thanksgiving travel has steadily rebounded from the post-recession low in 2008, AAA said. At $157, on average, that is a 23 percent fare drop year-over-year.

Air travel is expected to see the biggest year-over-year increase, at 5 per cent, with about 4 million travellers expected to pass through United States airports over the holiday period.

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