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Thanksgiving Travel Nearly Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels

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Sonora, CA – This year’s Thanksgiving travel numbers are just shy of the year prior to the pandemic.

AAA predicts 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles for the holiday, which is a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes. Total Thanksgiving travel this year is projected to be the third busiest since AAA started tracking in 2000, with 2005 topping the list and 2019 coming in second.

“Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” says Paula Twidale, AAA’s Senior Vice President of Travel. “Plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you’re driving or flying.”

Like last year, most travelers will drive to their destinations, with nearly 49 million people expected to travel by car over the holiday. The recent drop in gas prices may be fueling this trend, as Thanksgiving road trips are up 0.4% from 2021. Overall car travel remains 2.5% below 2019 levels, according to AAA.

Air travel is up nearly 8% over 2021, with 4.5 million Americans flying this year. AAA notes that this is an increase of more than 330,000 travelers and nearly 99% of the 2019 volume. More than 1.4 million will travel by bus, train, or cruise ship, an increase of 23% from 2021 and 96% of the 2019 volume.