PRNewswire MINNEAPOLIS Nov. 20 :
Traditionally, Thanksgiving marks the start of winter holiday travel and
this year shows a strong beginning to the season. AAA projects that 36
million Americans will take a trip of 50 miles or more from home this
Thanksgiving weekend holiday. This is 2.4 percent higher than the 35.2
million who traveled last year.
Approximately 31.1 million travelers (86 percent of all holiday travelers)
expect to go by motor vehicle, a 2.5 percent increase from the 30.3
million who drove a year ago. Another 4.6 million (13 percent) plan to go
by airplane, up almost 1 percent from last Thanksgiving. A projected
300,000 vacationers (1 percent) will go by train, bus or other mode of
“The travel season finished strong this summer and we expect the trend to
continue through the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Dawn Duffy, AAA
spokesperson. “Considering AAA`s projections, travelers should allow
plenty of time for crowded roadways, busy airports and tight security.”
Auto travelers will find gas prices down about 24 cents from the all-time
high set before this year`s Labor Day holiday. The national average of
$1.50 for a gallon of self-serve unleaded is about 4 cents per gallon
higher than last Thanksgiving.
The greatest number of Thanksgiving auto travelers will originate in the
Southeast with 8.8 million; followed by the West, 6.9 million; Midwest,
6.8 million; Great Lakes, 6.3 million; and Northeast, 2.3 million.
The West and Southeast are expected to produce the largest number of air
travelers, each with 1.2 million, followed by the Northeast and Midwest
with 800,000 each; and Great Lakes, 600,000.
Cities top the list of preferred destinations this holiday with 38 percent
of the travel volume. Towns and rural areas are the destination for 31
percent of travelers, followed by oceans and beaches, 10 percent;
mountains, 8 percent; lakes, 3 percent; and theme/amusement parks, 2
percent. Another 4 percent responded with other and 4 percent said they
Of the total Thanksgiving travelers, 56 percent will stay with friends or
relatives and another 26 percent expect to stay at a hotel/motel. Other
overnight plans include cabin/condo, 6 percent; camper/trailer/RV/tent, 3
percent; other, 2 percent; no overnight stay, 4 percent; and didn`t know,
Thanksgiving travel figures are based on a national telephone survey of
1,300 adults by the Travel Industry Association of America.
AAA offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more
than 45 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA
Minnesota/Iowa is part of The Auto Club Group, which has 4.1 million
members in eight Midwest states. AAA Minneapolis serves nearly 172,000
members in Hennepin County.