If you plan to hit the road for the upcoming holiday, you’ll have plenty of company. Rose White, at Triple-A-Iowa, says about nine in every ten travelers surveyed plan to drive to visit family and friends to feast on a big turkey dinner.
Triple-A projects 43.6-million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday period, an increase of less than one-percent from last year. It’s the fourth consecutive year the motor club has predicted a growing number of Thanksgiving holiday travelers.
The survey finds 90% of Thanksgiving travelers will be going by car, about 7% by air, and the rest will travel by other means, including rail, bus and ship. If your trip involves a hotel stay or renting a car, cost could become an issue.
“Hotel rates are relatively flat compared to last year’s holiday, but car rental rates are up 27%,” White says. “Weekend daily car rental rates will average $47, compared to $37 reported last year.” Since many families rent larger vehicles for long distance drive vacations, she urges people to book as early as possible for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods.
Gasoline prices are close to where they were last Thanksgiving, but White says that’s only because they’ve dropped considerably in recent weeks. “The national average price of gasoline is expected to range from $3.25-to-3.40 a gallon,” White says.
“Since early October, fuel prices have declined nearly 40 cents a gallon, but more here in the Midwestern states of Iowa and Nebraska.” The statewide average price is around $3.31 a gallon, 13-cents below the national average.