Thanksgiving holiday travel volume to reach near pre-pandemic level

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:27 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2022 at 9:29 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Whether you’re planning to travel by plane or car for this Thanksgiving holiday, brace yourself.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. That’s a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes.

This year is projected to be the third busiest for Thanksgiving travel since AAA started tracking in 2000.

“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.”

Most travelers will drive to their destinations, much like last year, according to AAA. Nearly 49 million people are expected to travel by car. While Thanksgiving road trips have slightly risen – up 0.4% from 2021 – car travel remains 2.5 percent below 2019 levels.

Air travel is up nearly 8 percent over 2021, with 4.5 million Americans flying to their Thanksgiving destinations this year. The auto club said that’s an increase of more than 330,000 travelers and nearly 99 percent of the 2019 volume.