The Holiday Rush Is On For Thanksgiving Travel

Tammy Harvey
November 24, 2017

The Thanksgiving travel rush is in full swing, and AAA predicts more than 2 million New Englanders will hit the roads, rails and skies this holiday weekend.

More than 50 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving.

And for many, the traveling starts Wednesday.

On the eve of the holiday travel season, the price of unleaded gasoline in the metro Augusta area averaged $2.28 per gallon - roughly 18 cents per gallon more than motorists this time past year, according to AAA data. The group says it's roughly a 3.5 percent increase over 2016 and the most travelers since 2007.

For the ninth consecutive year, AAA is expecting more South Dakotans to drive somewhere for Thanksgiving than they did last year.

This Thanksgiving travel period is the busiest in over 10 years.

That would be the highest since 2014 saw the average at $2.79 a gallon. but. still far below the all-time high of $3.44 in 2012.

Holiday high: auto 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.

The drivers that did opt to beat the heaviest of traffic this holiday weekend were greeted with heavy rain in many parts of the state.

According to Mark Amorosi, communications manager for South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA), said that Atlantic City International Airport projects an 11 percent increase in seat capacity for the Thanksgiving travel week compared to the same week a year ago. "So, all the kids are here, two families, no, in fact, five families are here". And if there are other passengers, rotate drivers if possible during long trips. Even so, it's not the busiest weekend of the year for the Turnpike, Courtney said.

Some more advice for novice travelers - that TSA has recently changed their procedures and that "anything larger than a cell phone needs to be taken out of a carry-on bag and put into a bin", said Nipps. Compared to previous years, New York City, Las Vegas and San Francisco are gaining popularity as holiday spots. But close to 90% of all travelers are planning a thanksgiving road trip. The busiest day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Wednesday, Nov. 22, with an average rental length of almost five full days, as travelers look to take advantage of the long holiday weekend. AAA recommends motorists have their vehicles inspected by a trusted fix shop before leaving for your destination.

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