Idaho AAA: "Expect large crowds" of Thanksgiving holiday travelers

18 November, 2017, 00:08 | Author: Boyd Miller

Fuller Skies: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air travel, at 5 percent, with 3.95 million travelers. "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".

Road trips will cost more, however.

This year is expected to see the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2005.

Locally, 56,000 Wilkes-Barre area residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving.

About 90 percent of holiday travel will be by vehicle, according to AAA.

USA motor travel accounts for 10 percent of global demand, and is closely watched by global oil traders. Average gas prices in California stand at $3.22, up 50 cents over past year, and nationwide, gas costs an average of $2.54, up 37 cents.

"This year we could see record-level travel delays", INRIX transportation analyst Bob Pishue said.

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For those traveling the roads, a gallon of regular gas in MA averages $2.59 a gallon. "However, this year flying for the holiday is not as expensive as other years with average airfares the lowest in five years". At $157, on average, that is a 23 percent fare drop year-over-year.

Experts say the busiest travel time is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday following the holiday, with the lightest traffic typically in the morning on Thanksgiving Day.

But some of the savings will be lost when renting a auto.

A year ago over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA Carolinas rescued about 8,400 motorists, mainly because of dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. The average price increased by 14 percent to $176/night.

AAA's projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit.

Of course, saving money is key when traveling during the holidays.

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