Travel on Thanksgiving weekend could be busiest in nearly 2 decades

AAA says nearly 3 million Floridians will travel at least 50 miles

(Mark Schiefelbein, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – AAA says Thanksgiving weekend could be the busiest travel day in nearly two decades.

The auto club said nearly 3 million Floridians will travel at least 50 miles for the holiday, marking the largest number since 2005.

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Nationwide, projections are slightly below pre-pandemic levels at 54.6 million travelers.

“Travel is still roaring back from the pandemic,” Debbie Haas, vice president of travel for AAA, said in a release. “While gas prices and other inflationary pressures weigh on budgets, travel remains a top priority for Americans, particularly during the holidays. Travel spending is at the highest level since the pandemic began, which is a driving force behind our projections this year. AAA expects busy roads and long lines at the airport, so leave early and be flexible with your travel plans.”

AAA also said 89% of Thanksgiving travelers will drive, forecasting 48.65 million Americans will take a holiday road trip..

“Higher gas prices don’t seem to be enough to stop people from traveling to be with family and friends,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman. “We’ve found that when gas prices are high, travelers look to offset the added cost by staying in a less expensive hotel or spending less on shopping and dining out.”

Ways to save on gasoline

  • Combine errands to limit driving time.
  • Shop around for the best gas prices in your community.
  • Consider paying cash. Some retailers charge extra per gallon for customers who pay with a credit card.
  • Remove excess weight in your vehicle.
  • Drive conservatively. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduce fuel economy.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.