NEW ORLEANS - Transportation officials are expecting Wednesday to be the busiest day of travel since 2005 with an estimated 51 million Americans on the road.
A stronger economy and lower plane tickets could be the reason why there will be more travelers. According to AAA, 1.6 million more people will take to the roads, skies, rails and waterways compared to last year.
Flying out today? @NO_Airport recommends you arrive 90 minutes before your flight and don't count on finding long- term parking at the airport— RAY ROMERO (@RayRomeroTraf) November 22, 2017
AAA expects the vast number of travelers (89.3 percent) will be traveling by car, despite the highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014. This year’s national average price for a gall on gas is $2.54. That is 37 cents more than the same time last year.
By the Numbers: 2017 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast
- Road trip ready: 89 percent of all travelers – 45.5 million – are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, an increase of 3.2 percent over last year.
- Cheaper airfare: Consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013.
- Fuller skies: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air travel, at five percent, with 3.95 million travelers.
- Alternate travel: Travel by trains and other modes (including buses and cruises) is expected to increase 1.1 percent to 1.48 million travelers.
- Fueling up: Drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014.
- Holiday high: Car rental daily rates will hit a five-year holiday high at $70/day, which may be due to an increase in domestic demand and cost of newer vehicles.
- Regional Travelers: An estimated 5.2 million people will be traveling throughout the West South Central Region, encompassing Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Of those travelers, 4.7 million will be on the road.
Top 10 Thanksgiving Destinations
1. Orlando, Florida
2. Anaheim, California
3. New York City, New York
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
5. Las Vegas, Nevada
6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
7. Cancun, Mexico
8. San Francisco, California
9. Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
10. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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