Thanksgiving Travel To Reach Highest Level Since Pre-Covid Era

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Nov 16, 2023 - 11:55 AM

The American Automobile Association's latest report forecasts that over 55.4 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home during the Thanksgiving holiday week, spanning five days from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26. This year's forecast is a 2.3% increase over the same period last year and the third highest forecast since AAA started tracking holiday travel in 2000. The other two years were 2015 and 2019, respectively. 

Most Thanksgiving travelers will drive next week. As many as 49.1 million Americans are expected to hit the highways, an increase of 1.7% compared to 2022. While 4.7 million people are expected to fly, an increase of 6.6% from 2022, the highest level since 2005. 

"For many Americans, Thanksgiving and travel go hand in hand, and this holiday, we expect more people on the roads, skies, and seas compared to 2022," said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. 

Twidale said, "Travel demand has been strong all year, and AAA's Thanksgiving forecast reflects that continued desire to get away and spend time with loved ones."

AAA noted Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving are the busiest air travel days. Sunday is the busiest day to return home, AAA data showed.

 Pump prices for unleaded fuel are marginally lower when compared with the same period last year. 

Overall Busiest Day to Drive

"Hybrid schedules and remote schedules have changed everything," Aixa Diaz of AAA told CNN, adding, "Now people can leave for holiday travel at different times."