Hitting the Road For The Holiday

Prep work has been underway as the big feast looms in two short days. Ovens are cranking, turkeys are defrosting and people are packing their bags and getting ready to hit the highway.

AAA says air travel is up nearly 8% from last year, with at least 4.5 million people flying to Thanksgiving destinations this year. That’s an increase of more than 330,000 travelers and up nearly 99% from 2019 – before the pandemic.

“It seems counterintuitive given inflation and higher gas prices. But given how separated and isolated we were during the first 2 years of the pandemic — and with travel restrictions now lifted — travel demand is high,” AAA spokesperson Aixa Diaz told CNN via email.

“Thanksgiving kicks off the start of a busy holiday season, and more thankful Americans will travel to spend time with friends and family this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season.”

Triple A confirms:

  • Road trip ready: This year, nearly 49 million people are expected to travel by car. That’s 2.5% below 2019 levels, but up by 0.4% from last year. AAA’s forecast looks at trips that are 50 miles or more from home.
  • Fuller skies: Air travel is up by 8%The number of Americans expected to travel by air is up nearly 8% over 2021. The five-day period of the 4.5 million Americans flying over the holiday from Wednesday, November 23, to Sunday, November 27, is nearly 99% of the 2019 volume.
  • Alternate travel: Travel by other modes of transportation is approaching pre-pandemic levels, too. More than 1.4 million travelers are expected to travel by bus, train or cruise ship during the Thanksgiving holiday — 96% of the 2019 volume.

How do you deal with the long ride? I have family that travels very late at night to avoid traffic, while others use public transportation and leave the car at home. It may be a difficult journey, but the destination is well worth it. To be together with family is the reason for the season. Travel Safe!


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