AAA predicts 42.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during Thanksgiving weekend — a 4% increase from the last year, according to a Nov. 17 press release. Given the recent state of the economy, this is the first significant increase in holiday travel this year.
“Driving AAA’s projected increase in the number of Thanksgiving travelers is pent-up demand from Americans who may have foregone holiday travel the last three years,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services. “As consumers weigh the fear of economic uncertainty and the desire to create lasting family memories this holiday, more Americans are expected to choose family and friends over frugality.”
The projections are based on economic forecasting and research by HIS Global Insight, a Boston-based economic research and consulting firm that teamed with AAA in 2009. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.
AAA also reported that automobile travel remains the preferred choice of transportation for holiday travelers. Approximately 38.2 million people — or 90% of travelers — plan to utilize the nation’s roadways this Thanksgiving weekend.