JOPLIN, Mo. (KSNF/KODE) — AAA projects 55.4 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.
This year’s Thanksgiving forecast is an increase of 2.3% over last year and marks the third-highest Thanksgiving forecast since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000. The top two years were 2005 and 2019, respectively.
Most Thanksgiving travelers will drive to their destinations. AAA projects 49.1 million Americans will get behind the wheel, an increase of 1.7% compared to 2022. Drivers could be paying less for gas than last Thanksgiving when the national average was $3.58.
This year, the national average peaked in mid-August at $3.87 and has been coming down since.
AAA expects 4.7 million people will fly over Thanksgiving, an increase of 6.6% compared to 2022 and the highest number of Thanksgiving air travelers since 2005. Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving are the busiest air travel days ahead of the holiday and the most expensive.
While Sunday is typically the busiest day to return home, AAA data shows Monday is also a popular day to fly back after Thanksgiving.