AAA: More Than 55 Million Travelers Gear Up For Thanksgiving

This will be the second highest-volume travel year for the Thanksgiving season.

(Orlando, Fla.) - Over 55 million Americans will be packing their bags to start their travels for the holiday season.

AAA started monitoring the 50+ mile travels that happen around the United States in 2000.

Since 2000, this year's Thanksgiving traveling volume comes in 2nd to the highest that was recorded in 2005. An additional 1.5 million traveler increase is seen from last years statistics, a 2.9% increase. 

“Millions of thankful Americans are starting the holiday season off right with a Thanksgiving getaway,” said AAA Vice President Paula Twidale. “Strong economic fundamentals are motivating Americans to venture out this holiday in near-record numbers. Consumer spending remains strong, thanks to increasing wages, disposable income and household wealth, and travel remains one of their top priorities for the holiday season.”

Air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the Thanksgiving holiday with a 4.6% growth. 4.45 million Americans are expected to fly.

Other modes of transportation such as train, buses, and cruise ships will reach 1.49 million, which is a slight increase from 2018 of 1.4%.

For the 49.3 million automobile travelers hitting the road this Thanksgiving, the most since 2005 and a 2.8% more than last year, INRIX and AAA have predicted the major delays to be expected throughout the week.

With the majority of holiday travelers driving to their destinations, a global transportation analytics company, INRIX expects the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving to be the worst travel period nationally. Motorists should expect their trips to take up to four times longer than normal.

Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York are considered the metro areas with the delay multiplier of 3.5x. Other areas to be aware of are Boston, Houston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle, Detroit, and Chicago which will see delays from 2.4x - 3.4x the average.

“With record levels of travelers, and persistent population growth in the country’s major metropolitan areas, drivers must prepare for major delays,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the week.”


Other topics AAA wants to bring awareness to are gas prices, flying tips, and costs for rental cars and hotels. 

Lower gas prices fuel road trips; AAA to rescue more than 368,000

Recently, gas prices around the nation have been fluctuating. However, AAA expects to see the gas prices to be similar to last year with an average of $2.57. This will give travelers the opportunity to have a little extra money to spend on traveling. 

With more people traveling, AAA will respond to more than 368,000 motorists using roadside assistance. Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts are the main reasons for calls around the holiday season. Motorists are reminded to slow down and move over for stopped emergency vehicles at the roadside.

Travel tip for the friendly skies: Fly Monday before Thanksgiving

AAA’s flight booking data shows that from the past three years, the Monday before Thanksgiving is the best option for holiday travelers. The average ticket price on the Monday is $486 and is a lighter travel day. If you are looking for the cheapest route, you can fly on Thanksgiving with the average ticket price being $454. 

Car rental costs peak, hotel prices mixed

 When it comes to renting a car, travelers should be prepared to budget more. Rental cars have reached their highest price of $75 a day for the Thanksgiving holiday since 1999. AAA Two Diamond hotels are seeing a 1% price increase from last year, which puts the price at $125 a night. However, AAA Three Diamonds hotels saw a 5% decrease from last year. This puts the price at $158 a night. 


"AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Wednesday, Nov. 27 to Sunday, Dec. 1," says AAA. 

More from Local News


  • Hillforest Museum Open for Tours

    Hillforest Victorian House Museum was the home of industrialist and financier Thomas Gaff and his family between 1855 and 1926.

    at Hillforest Museum
  • Free Grief Support Group

    Journey of Hope is a four-week grief support group from Loving Hearts Hospice that offers understanding, compassion, and support for those who have lost a loved one. Meetings are scheduled for four Tuesdays in September starting on September 7th through the 28th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the Loving Hearts offices located at 4109 North Dearborn Road. The group is free to the public, but registration is required. If you would rather participate via ZOOM online, please provide a valid email address (a link will be sent to your email address after you register). For information, or to register, contact Rev. Patti Warning, Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator, at 812-932-0641, or email her at

  • Among Us (for teens)

    Come to the library for virtual game nights! We’ll be playing the free online multiplayer game Among Us! Take on the role of Crewmate or Imposter in this animated game of teamwork and betrayal! Never played? That's okay! We're happy to show you the ropes as we play together. If possible, please have the mobile app downloaded on your device (phone or tablet) prior to the event. Available free for Android and iOS. Personal laptops are not allowed. Register:

    at Lawrenceburg Public Library District

Gov. Holcomb: This Week Is Pollution Prevention Week

Pollution Prevention Week is a great opportunity for Hoosiers to begin implementing pollution prevention practices in their everyday activities.

UPDATE: NKY Man Wanted For Double-Shooting In Green Township In Custody

Two subject suffered life-threatening injuries during the incident Monday morning.

Dearborn Co. Chamber Postpones Leadership Program To 2022

The postponement is due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns.

Local Sports Report - September 20, 2021

There was a changing of the guard atop the ORVC boys soccer standings last night.

Local Sports Report - September 17-18, 2021

Report missing high school sports scores and stats to

On Air

Travis Thayer playing
Keith Urban - Wild Hearts

Shania Twain Man, I Feel Like a Woman 16:17
Florida Georgia Line Round Here 16:09
Lonestar No News 16:05
Michael Ray Whiskey & Rain 16:02