Thanksgiving Travel: Plan Ahead!

A plane comes in for a landing at Miami International Airport

They will join the 50.9 million Americans who plan to travel during the holiday, a gain of 1.6 million, or 3.3 percent, for the most Thanksgiving trekkers in 12 years.

Almost 51 million Americans are expected to travel next week, up just over three percent from past year.

But AAA's Tamara Johnson also says next Tuesday afternoon is one of the worst times to begin Thanksgiving travel by vehicle.

AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the US during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip. About 3.3 million will fly, which is a 5 percent increase from last year's Thanksgiving holiday. This will be the most expensive Thanksgiving to fill up since 2013, when Los Angeles gas prices averaged more than $3.60 a gallon, according to the Auto Club. "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".

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The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26, according to AAA. In Palm Beach County, the average price for regular was $2.62, up from $2.30 a year ago.

"Idaho has experienced a seasonal price drop, but it's been slower than in recent years", Conde said. That marks a 3.4 percent increase from past year, which AAA calls a good indicator of a strong economy and high consumer confidence. Travel by other modes of transportation will increase about 1.2 percent this Thanksgiving in the Great Lake State, with over 45,000 travelers choosing cruises, trains and buses as their mode of travel.

"AAA expects drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices in three years, thanks to strong demand and higher oil prices", said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman in Tampa. Air fares are at their lowest levels in five years for a round-trip flight for the top 40 domestic routes, AAA said.

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