The Thanksgiving holiday season, which will begin Wednesday and end Sunday, is projected to be the most heavily trafficked holiday since 2005. AAA estimates that nearly 51 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home for the feasting holiday, 1.6 million more than last year.
“Thanksgiving kicks off the start of a busy holiday season, and more thankful Americans will travel to spend time with friends and family this year,” said AAA Senior VP Bill Sutherland. “A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season.”
Gas prices typically increase prior to the holiday traveling season and the 89 percent of travelers in our area who plan to drive to their dinner destinations will experience no exception. Pennsylvania, with an average gas price of $2.78 carries the most expensive gas in the region just days before the holiday. The state average is $.24 more per gallon than the nationwide average. The gas prices this Thanksgiving, according to AAA, are the highest Thanksgiving gas prices in three years.
Those that plan to fly will pay the cheapest average airfare in four years meaning the skies will be full with nearly four million holiday travelers. If you’re craving less of a traveling congestion at the airports, contemplate traveling Thanksgiving Day rather than the day before. According to a report by Travel + Leisure, in the Philadelphia area, drivers should be on the road Thanksgiving day by 6 a.m. and come home Sunday at the same time. Traffic will be at its worst Wednesday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.
Regardless of the way you choose to travel, keep your winter coat handy. Forecasters expect Thanksgiving Day to be calm, dry, but cold — with temperatures struggling to get out of the 30s in the morning and the mid-40s in the afternoon, despite abundant sunshine. A light breeze will make it feel a bit colder.