More than 55 million travelers will take a Thanksgiving trip
at least 50 miles from home, a 2.9% increase over last year, says AAA.
This Thanksgiving's travel volume is projected to be the
second highest since AAA began tracking it in 2000, only surpassed by Thanksgiving
The numbers of drivers (49.3 million) will rise 2.8%, and
the number of flyers (4.45 million) will rise 4.6%. The rest of traveling
Americans (1.49 million) will take trains, buses and cruise ships.
The Associated Press reports that with the large spike in Thanksgiving
air travel, U.S. airlines are adding about 850 more flights per day than last
year, said trade group Airlines for America. There were nearly 25,000 flights a
day during the Thanksgiving holiday last year.
AAA found that Thanksgiving rental cars rates have reached
the highest level on record since 1999, $75 per day.
Travelers will pay slightly more at AAA Two Diamond hotels, with
rates up 1% for an average of $125 per night. But they will spend 5% less at
AAA Three Diamond hotels, where the average rate is $158 per night.
In order, the top domestic destinations this Thanksgiving
are Orlando; Anaheim, Calif.; New York; Las Vegas; Honolulu; Fort Lauderdale;
Tampa; Maui; Phoenix; and Miami.
Internationally, the top destinations are Nassau, Bahamas;
Cancun, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and
"Strong economic fundamentals are motivating Americans to
venture out this holiday in near-record numbers," said AAA Travel vice
president Paula Twidale. "Consumer spending remains strong, thanks to
increasing wages, disposable income and household wealth, and travel remains
one of their top priorities for the holiday season."