Friday, November 21, 2014

AAA: 46 Million Americans To Travel On Thanksgiving

ORLANDO, Florida – AAA Travel projects 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2007 and a 4.2 percent increase over 2013.  The average distance traveled this Thanksgiving will be 549 miles roundtrip and Americans will spend an average of $573 during the holiday weekend.


Almost 90 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip and likely will enjoy the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years.  Despite lower average gas prices, travelers are allocating 31 percent of their budgets to fuel transportation. Food and beverage and shopping will account for 22 percent and 20 percent of holiday travel budgets, respectively. 


Air travel for Thanksgiving is expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million Americans taking to the skies.  Travelers will encounter moderately higher prices with airfares one percent higher, mid-range hotels up eight percent and car rentals costing 10 percent more.


According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase eight percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $154 per night compared to $142 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen nine percent with an average cost of $114 per night.


Weekend daily car rental rates will average $55, 10 percent higher than last year. Airfares will only increase one percent, with an average discounted round-trip rate of $189 across 40 top domestic routes.


“This year, more Americans will give thanks for the opportunity to travel to friends and family than any year since 2007,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA President and Chief Operating Officer. “Americans are more optimistic about the future as improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer confidence and the desire to travel.”



The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30.




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