Thanksgiving travel forecast: 2.6 million Floridians will travel 50 miles or more

Posted November 18, 2017

Nationally, the auto club projects the highest level of Thanksgiving travel since 2005, with 50.9 million Americans taking a trip somewhere.

"If you look at this time a year ago, for the state of Texas, the price is 34 cents higher and the reason for that analysts say it's because we're seeing higher demand than usual this fall", AAA spokesperson Daniel Armbruster said. Most of those travelers - 89 percent - will take a road trip.

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as November 22 through November 26.

"A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season", Mitchell Meade said.

In Florida, more than 2.6 million residents will travel at least 50 miles from their home for the holiday, a 3.2 percent increase over previous year.

AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts this year's Thanksgiving holiday travel will break a 12-year record.

About 3.3 million will fly, which is a 5 percent increase from last year's Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving Travel TSA checkpoint
Courtesy TSA

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

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26, according to AAA.

Motorists should see some relief at the pump before the holiday. That's 1.6 million more people than in 2016. It's also the highest price for gasoline in North Carolina since 2014, when the average was $2.73. At $157, on average, that is a 23 percent fare drop year-over-year.

AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Thanksgiving weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues.

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With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find almost 59,000 AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants.

AAA and research firm IHS Markit base their forecast on recent and predicted growth in the economy, consumer spending, household wealth and other measures. "Getting an early start may be a good plan to avoid some holiday travel stress".