ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 24, 2019—Lower gas prices and a strong economy mean millions more travelers on the roads this Thanksgiving season.
According to AAA, more than 55 million travelers are making holiday trip plans of 50 miles or more away from home.
This will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000, trailing the record set in 2005.
Overall, an additional 1.6 million more people will travel compared with last year, a nearly 3 percent increase.
The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations with Wednesday afternoon expected to be the worst travel period nationally.
Trips could take as much at four times longer than normal in major metropolitan areas.
Travel through Atlanta, the closest major metro area, can take as much as 3.5 times as long to navigate during rush hour, according to AAA.
Houston to the west is forecast to be another rush-hour bottleneck.
“Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier-than-normal congestion throughout the week,” said Trevor Reed, a transportation analysist with INRIX, a global transportation analytics company used by AAA.
Gas prices are currently cheaper than the national average at this time last year, giving Americans a little extra money to spend on travel and motivating millions to take road trips, according to AAA.
For the majority of Americans, AAA expects gas prices to be fairly similar to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, which averaged $2.57 nationally.
Motorists in this region are seeing cheaper gas prices compared to last month and last year, according to AAA.
Louisiana and Mississippi top the nation with the cheapest gas prices at an average of $2.21 per gallon. Alabama is averaging $2.26 per gallon.
Florida’s average is $2.36; however, Crestview gas prices are currently at $2.43, 12 cents higher than those in Fort Walton Beach, according to Gas Buddy, an online app that helps find cheap gas prices.
Staff and AAA news release