AAA Nebraska projects that 48.7-million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving holiday. That is one-million more travelers than last year and the highest number since 2007.
AAA Nebraska’s Rose White says 89% of those travelers will drive to their destination and air travel is expected to increase 1.6%.
This year’s increase in travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence.
Thanksgiving weekend gas prices are the second-cheapest in nearly a decade. Heading into the holiday period the national average gas price is $2.15 a gallon, a dime higher than one year ago. White says those filling the tank in Nebraska will see lower prices this year. Gas prices in the state average $2.11 a gallon compared to $2.26 one year ago. White says we are seeing a daily slide in fuel prices due to lower crude oil costs. She says we can expect to see even lower gas prices as we get closer to the holiday.
AAA’s Leisure Travel Index reports that airfares are expected to increase 21% this Thanksgiving with the average roundtrip flight costing $205. Travelers can expect to pay about 4% more for a hotel room this year with the average room costing $155 per night. Daily car rental rates average $52 a day, about 13% lower than last year.