Thanksgiving travel to grow, despite higher gas prices

AAA said that most Maryland travelers are expected to drive to their destinations.

Although gas prices are the highest since Thanksgiving 2014, AAA's expecting a record number of Americans to hit the road starting next Tuesday.

Nearly 90 percent of expected travelers this Thanksgiving - or 45.5 million - are planning on taking a road trip.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said this Thanksgiving weekend is expected to be the busiest in more than a decade.

AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the USA during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip. The numbers have been increasing every year since.

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The Thanksgiving period will also see plenty of non-holiday related travel, with Wisconsin's gun deer hunting season taking place the entire holiday weekend. Today, the average is $2.58, but AAA expects the price will still be lower than what drivers were paying earlier this month. "A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence". The average price at AAA Three Diamond rated accommodations has jumped 14 percent to $176 per night, although rates at Two Diamond rates hotels are down 5 percent to $117. This would be a 3.3 percent increase over a year ago, and be the highest number of travelers since 2005.

Cheaper airfare: Consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013.

Alternate travel: Travel by trains and other modes (including buses and cruises) is expected to increase 1.1 percent to 1.48 million travelers.

The higher gas prices are not enough to deter Floridians from traveling this Thanksgiving, AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said.

Fuller skies: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air travel, at five percent, with 3.95 million travelers.

  • Darren Santiago