Number of travelers over Thanksgiving weekend to almost reach pre-pandemic levels

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Number of travelers over Thanksgiving weekend to almost reach pre-pandemic levels

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Families and relatives traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday can expect many other fellow travelers visiting their relatives this year.

A total of 54.6 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes over the Thanksgiving weekend, beginning Nov. 23 through Nov. 27. The estimated number of travelers reaches 98% of pre-COVID-19 levels around the November holiday and is also 1.5% higher than holiday travel compared to last year, according to AAA.

“Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” said AAA’s Senior Vice President of Travel Paula Twidale. “Plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you’re driving or flying.”

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The number of expected travelers will be the third highest since AAA began tracking travels in 2005, trailing only 2005 and 2019.

Around 89.1% of travelers are expected to make their journey by car, with almost 49 million people hitting the road. While road travel would be up slightly from last year by 0.4%, the number of expected road trips would still be below 2019 levels at 2.5%.

Roughly 8.3% of trips will be made via air travel, with 4.5 million people taking flights to their family’s turkey feast. The expected number of air travelers this Thanksgiving will be up 8% from 2021 and will be at almost 99% of 2019’s amount of air travelers.

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Other means of transportation are also anticipated to experience an increase this year, with over 1.4 million travelers expected to travel by bus, train, or cruise ship, an increase of 23% from last year.

“Regardless of the mode of transportation you have chosen, expect crowds during your trip and at your destination,” Twidale said. “If your schedule is flexible, consider off-peak travel times during the holiday rush.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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