Record num­ber of Amer­i­cans ex­pected to travel this Thanks­giv­ing

The Calvert Recorder - Southern Maryland Automotive Trends - - Front Page -

AAA projects that 48.7 mil­lion Amer­i­cans will jour­ney 50 miles or more from home this Thanks­giv­ing, an in­crease of one mil­lion trav­el­ers com­pared with last year. This rep­re­sents a 1.9 per­cent in­crease over 2015, and the most Thanks­giv­ing trav­el­ers since 2007. The Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day travel pe­riod is de­fined as Wed­nes­day, Nov. 23, to Sun­day, Nov. 27.

This year’s in­crease in 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. And 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.

“One mil­lion more Amer­i­cans than last year will carve out time to visit with friends and fam­ily this Thanks­giv­ing,” AAA Pres­i­dent and CEO Mar­shall Doney said. “Most will travel on the tried and true hol­i­day road trip, thanks to gas prices that are hold­ing at close to $2 per gal­lon. Oth­ers will fly, take the bus or set off on a cruise to cel­e­brate with their loved ones.”

The vast ma­jor­ity — more than 89 per­cent — of hol­i­day trav­el­ers will drive this Thanks­giv­ing. The 43.5 mil­lion Amer­i­cans plan­ning a Thanks­giv­ing road trip rep­re­sents an in­crease of 1.9 per­cent over last year. Air travel is ex­pected to in­crease 1.6 per­cent, with 3.69 mil­lion Amer­i­cans fly­ing to their hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions. Travel by other modes of trans­porta­tion, in­clud­ing cruises, trains and buses, will in­crease only slightly this Thanks­giv­ing, to 1.44 mil­lion trav­el­ers.

To­day’s na­tional av­er­age price for a gal­lon of gaso­line is $2.16, 11 cents more than the av­er­age price on Thanks­giv­ing last year ($2.05). Most U.S. driv­ers will pay the sec­ond-cheap­est Thanks­giv­ing gas prices since 2008, when the na­tional av­er­age was $1.85.

Ac­cord­ing to AAA’s Leisure Travel In­dex, air­fares are pro­jected to in­crease 21 per­cent this Thanks­giv­ing, land­ing at an av­er­age of $205 for a roundtrip flight for the top 40 do­mes­tic routes.

Rates for AAA Three Di­a­mond Rated lodg­ings are ex­pected to re­main flat, with trav­el­ers spend­ing an av­er­age of $155 per night. The av­er­age rate for a AAA Two Di­a­mond Rated ho­tel has risen four per­cent with an av­er­age nightly cost of $123. Daily car rental rates will av­er­age $52, 13 per­cent lower than last Thanks­giv­ing.

This year’s top des­ti­na­tions for Thanks­giv­ing in­clude many pop­u­lar west coast ci­ties, as well as peren­nial fam­ily-friendly fa­vorites.

The most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions this Thanks­giv­ing, based on AAA.com book­ings, are: 1. Las Ve­gas, Nev. 2. San Francisco, Calif. 3. San Diego, Calif. 4. Or­lando, Fla. 5. New York City 6. New Or­leans, La. 7. Ana­heim, Calif. 8. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 9. Philadel­phia, Pa. 10. Seat­tle, Wash.

AAA ex­pects to res­cue more than 370,000 mo­torists this Thanks­giv­ing, with the pri­mary rea­sons be­ing dead bat­ter­ies, flat tires and lock­outs. AAA rec­om­mends that mo­torists check the con­di­tion of their bat­tery and tires and pack emer­gency kits in their ve­hi­cles be­fore head­ing out on a hol­i­day get­away.

Driv­ers should have their ve­hi­cles in­spected by a trusted re­pair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Ap­proved Auto Re­pair fa­cil­i­ties across North Amer­ica. Mem­bers can down­load the AAA Mo­bile app, go to AAA. com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to re­quest road­side as­sis­tance.

Be­fore set­ting out on a Thanks­giv­ing trip, trav­el­ers should down­load the free AAA Mo­bile app for iPhone, iPad and An­droid. The app can help map a route, find low­est gas prices, ac­cess ex­clu­sive mem­ber dis­counts, make travel ar­range­ments, re­quest AAA road­side as­sis­tance, find AAA Ap­proved Auto Re­pair fa­cil­i­ties and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mo­bile.

With the AAA Mo­bile app, trav­el­ers can also find more than 58,000 AAA Ap­proved and Di­a­mond Rated ho­tels and restau­rants. AAA’s is the only rat­ing sys­tem that uses full-time, pro­fes­sion­ally trained eval­u­a­tors to inspect each prop­erty on an an­nual ba­sis. Ev­ery AAA Ap­proved es­tab­lish­ment of­fers the as­sur­ance of ac­cept­able clean­li­ness, com­fort and hos­pi­tal­ity, and rat­ings of One to Five Di­a­monds help trav­el­ers find the right match for ameni­ties and ser­vices.

AAA’s pro­jec­tions are based on eco­nomic fore­cast­ing and re­search by IHS Markit. The Lon­don-based busi­ness in­for­ma­tion provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly an­a­lyze travel trends dur­ing ma­jor hol­i­days. AAA has been re­port­ing on hol­i­day travel trends for more than two decades.

As North Amer­ica’s largest mo­tor­ing and leisure travel or­ga­ni­za­tion, AAA pro­vides more than 56 mil­lion mem­bers with travel, in­sur­ance, fi­nan­cial and au­to­mo­tive-re­lated ser­vices. Since its found­ing in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-pay­ing AAA has been a leader and ad­vo­cate for the safety and se­cu­rity of all trav­el­ers. Mo­torists can map a route, iden­tify gas prices, find dis­counts, book a ho­tel and ac­cess AAA road­side as­sis­tance with the AAA Mo­bile app for iPhone, iPad and An­droid. Learn more at AAA.com/mo­bile.

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