55 million travelers will take to the roads and skies this Thanksgiving

Planes, trains and automobiles

America prepares for Thanksgiving holiday travel

(Gray News) – If you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving, you’ll have plenty of company.

More than 55 million travelers are planning a trip of 50 miles or more from home for the holiday, according to AAA.

“Millions of thankful Americans are starting the holiday season off right with a Thanksgiving getaway,” said AAA Travel Vice President Paula Twidale. “Travel remains one of their top priorities for the holiday season.”

Gasoline prices are helping. They’re about the same or a bit cheaper than a year ago, giving travelers a little extra spending money.

The busiest travel days are Tuesday and Wednesday. In major cities, traffic delays will be multiplied more than threefold.

Trevor Reed with INRIX, a travel analytics company, says people hitting the roads must be prepared for major delays.

“Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the week,” Reed said.

If you need to fly at the last minute, Thanksgiving Day has the cheapest tickets.

Still, most folks who are traveling for the holiday are driving:

  • Automobiles: 49.3 million travelers will hit the road this Thanksgiving, the most since 2005 and 2.8% more than last year.
  • Planes: With 4.6% growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the Thanksgiving holiday, with 4.45 million Americans expected to fly.
  • Trains, buses and cruise ships: Travel by other modes will reach 1.49 million, a slight increase of 1.4% from 2018.

Warm-weather locations are the most popular, according to AAA Travel bookings. Florida is a top draw, with four cities in the Top 10.

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Anaheim, California
  3. New York, New York
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Honolulu, Hawaii
  6. Lauderdale, Florida
  7. Tampa, Florida
  8. Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
  9. Phoenix, Arizona
  10. Miami, Florida

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