Nearly 51 Million Americans to Travel This Thanksgiving, Highest Volume in a Dozen Years
Travel times could be more than three times longer over the holiday week
MINNEAPOLIS (November 20, 2017) – AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving. That’s a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year.
AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict that travel times during the holiday week in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip.
“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,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing.
The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26.
By the Numbers: 2017 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast
- Road trip ready: 89 percent of all travelers – 45.5 million – are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, an increase of 3.2 percent over last year.
- Cheaper airfare: Consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013.
- Fuller skies: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air travel, at 5 percent, with 3.95 million travelers.
- Alternate travel: Travel by trains and other modes (including buses and cruises) is expected to increase 1.1 percent to 1.48 million travelers.
- Fueling up: Drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014.
- Holiday high: Car rental daily rates will hit a five-year holiday high at $70/day, which may be due to an increase in domestic demand and cost of newer vehicles.
About the AAA travel forecast
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. View the complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Thanksgiving holiday travel forecast.
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.