Lake Mary based AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year and a 1.9 percent increase over 2015, and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007.
This year’s top destinations for Thanksgiving include many west coast cities, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and San Diego.
Orlando comes in 4th on the list along with Ft. Lauderdale in the 8th position as Florida cities to make the list.
AAA credits the increase in Thanksgiving travel to improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages and overall consumer confidence. Despite recent incremental increases in the national average price of gasoline, AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $28 billion so far at the pumps this year compared to the same period last year.
“One million more Americans than last year will carve out time to visit with friends and family this Thanksgiving,” AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney said. “Most will travel on the tried and true holiday road trip, thanks to gas prices that are holding at close to $2 per gallon. Others will fly, take the bus or set off on a cruise to celebrate with their loved ones.”
Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving with 89% of holiday travelers hitting the road. Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent, with 3.69 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations according to AAA’s numbers.