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AAA predicts 55 million travelers for the holidays

AAA expects nearly 55 million Americans to travel during the long holiday weekend.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — According to AAA, they are predicting 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving. That is a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes. This year is projected to be the third busiest for Thanksgiving since AAA starting tracking in 2000.

“Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s Senior Vice President of Travel in a press release. “Plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you’re driving or flying.”

Nearly 49 million people are expected to travel by car, just like last year. However, while Thanksgiving road trips have gone up 0.4% from 2021, car travel remains 2.5% below 2019 levels. 

Air travel is up nearly 8% over 2021, with 4.5 million Americans flying for the long holiday weekend. That’s an increase of more than 330,000 travelers and nearly 99% of the 2019 volume.

“Airport parking spaces fill up fast, so reserve a spot ahead of time and arrive early,” Twidale said. 

“Anticipate long TSA lines. If possible, avoid checking a bag to allow for more flexibility if flights are delayed or you need to reschedule.”

As for other modes of transportation, Americans have also ramped that up too. More than 1.4 million travelers will be going out of town either by bus, train or cruise ship. That number increased 23% from 2021 and 96% of the 2019. 

“With travel restrictions lifted and more people comfortable taking public transportation again, it’s no surprise buses, trains, and cruises are coming back in a big way,” Twidale said. 

“Regardless of the mode of transportation you have chosen, expect crowds during your trip and at your destination. If your schedule is flexible, consider off-peak travel times during the holiday rush.”


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