The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is seen as the busiest travel day of the year in the United States, and as I post this, millions of Americans are sitting in airports, train stations or in their cars waiting to get going on their Thanksgiving travel plans.
About 38 million domestic travelers are expected to go somewhere this holiday, but that’s 20 million fewer than in 2005 when the economy was brighter. Thanks to the economy and higher transportation costs, many of you are opting to drive or take trains and buses instead of shelling paying for higher airline tickets.
The average price for a gallon of gas this weekend is $2.63, up about 65 cents over last year at this time. That will push the average fuel cost for trips of about 5 hours to about $101.
Certainly forgoing air and long roadtrips for Thanksgiving and opting for cheaper alternatives is a sign of our current times. But another trend I am seeing is families are staying home more this Thanksgiving, even if it means missing that yearly family get-together.
In the last two years Thanksgiving travel took a nosedive–by 25 percent between 2007 and 2008, and AAA doesn’t see that changing much this year. In fact AAA predicts there will be a 6.7 percent decrease in air travelers this holiday compared with last year.
Are you part of that trend? Wherever you are this year, I want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.