Turkey Day travel will be a bit heavier
Turkey Day travel will be a bit heavier
More people have hit the road for Thanksgiving in each of the last eight years but overall the numbers are below pre-recession levels
For the eighth year in a row, Thanksgiving travel is expected to tick up this year.
Still, it remains at a level slightly below its peak in 2007.
This year, 48.7 million Americans are expected to hit the roads, take to the skies and ride the rails to be with family, watch football and eat turkey.
That is 1 million more Thanksgiving travelers than there were last year in America but still below the pre-recession level of 50 million.
“Every year it’s slightly rebounding,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “We should in the next couple of years get back” to 2007 levels.
The auto club includes those traveling more than 50 miles for their Thanksgiving Day visits in its count. AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates more than half a million, or 569,000, Philadelphia–area residents will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Eighty-nine percent of those travelers will get to their holiday destinations by car and will likely enjoy the lowest gas prices since 2008.
“Most Philadelphia-area residents will take a tried and true holiday road trip, thanks to gas prices that are holding just under $2.40 per gallon,” Tidwell said.
The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27.
According to AAA, 89 percent of travelers from the Philadelphia five-county area will travel by car while 8.6 percent will go by air.
Some quick facts compiled by AAA:
• Auto travel will grow for the eighth consecutive year.
• The busiest time to leave for a holiday destination by car is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the most crowded if you’re flying.
“Most Philadelphia-area residents will take a tried and true holiday road trip, thanks to gas prices that are holding just under $2.40 per gallon.” — Jana L. Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic
• Air travel will grow nationally for the fifth consecutive year. But the Philadelphia five-county area will see air travel remain relatively flat – up 0.8 percent – with just over 49,000 air travelers.
• Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall
strength in consumer confidence.
• Despite recent incremental
increases in the national average price of gasoline, AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $28 billion so far at the pumps this year compared to the same period last year.
• Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase only slightly this Thanksgiving, to 1.44 million travelers nationally.
• The most popular air destinations this Thanksgiving, based on AAA.com bookings, are: Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Orlando, New York City, New Orleans, Anaheim, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia and Seattle.
According to INRIX, a company that provides online data on travel:
• Drivers headed to major airports can expect more than a 20 minute delay over free-flow drive times.
• Airport off-site parking could save travelers as much as 75 percent compared to onsite parking.
• Shoppers headed to America’s busiest malls could see experience almost 90 percent longer travel times.
• Shoppers traveling to The King of Prussia Mall should expect noon to 6 p.m. to be the most congested travel time on Black Friday.
Shoppers traveling to The King of Prussia Mall should expect noon to 6 p.m. to be the most congested travel time on Black Friday.
Motorists are seen traveling on a highway.
Travelers line up at a security checkpoint area in Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
Passengers wait to board a train in New York’s Penn Station.