Travel for Thanksgiving Is Record-Breaking this Year
STATEWIDE--If you are traveling in the car for Thanksgiving, you better be ready to see a lot more motorists on the road than usual. In fact, you'll see a record number, according to AAA.
"Nearly 51 million Americans are going to travel 50 miles or more from home. That's a dramatic increase just over last year. It's also the highest travel volume we've seen since 2005," said AAA Public Relations Manager Greg Seiter from the Indianapolis office. "The economy is improving. People are feeling better about things in general. We have rising payroll as well. There's just an overall feeling that things are better in the economy."
89% of Thanksgiving travelers will be in automobiles.
"That means our roadways are going to be very busy. That's actually a 3.2% increase just over last year," Seiter said.
It also means you're going to be paying more at the pump.
"This is going to be the highest gas price average that we've seen since 2014. A lot of that has to do with the overall travel volume right now. Demand for gasoline is up and we've had some pipeline problems as well."
Since gas is high in demand, you're going to want to fill up before you hit the road or do it before Thanksgiving Day.
"Not every gas station is going to be open on Thanksgiving Day. The best advice I can give is to gas up today. Prices certainly aren't where we want them to be, but it's still a good idea to gas up and be ready to go," Seiter said.
Gas Buddy says the statewide average for a gallon of gas in Indiana is $2.60. The national average is $2.54. If you plan on going to Chicago or anywhere in the area near Chicago, you better be ready for traffic slowdowns.
"Chicago this evening will be a very bad time to travel. They're expecting travel volume to be 3 times worse than what it typically would be. That's going to be late afternoon/early evening, so be sure to get an early start," Seiter said.
He also said air travel, though, will see the biggest increase.
"We're seeing a 5% increase just over 2016, so even at the airports, people are going to be very busy. It's somewhat unusual, but we are seeing airfare that is lower than what we've seen in recent times,"
You probably won't be surprised to hear which cities are the most popular travel destinations.
"Well it's really no surprise that #1 is Orlando, but Anaheim is going to be very popular. People are going to even New York as well as some of the warmer destinations like Las Vegas," Seiter said.