Rose White, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, credits improvements in the economy during the second half of this year, including rising wages, a boost in consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence.
“Forty-eight-point-seven-million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away home this Thanksgiving which is an increase of one-million travelers compared to last year,” White says. “This represents a 1.9% increase over 2015 and the most Thanksgiving travelers we’ve seen in 9 years.”
A motor club report predicts the majority of travelers, about 89 percent of them, will be driving to their holiday destinations. For those who won’t be bunking with friends or relatives, the costs have risen.
“Hotels are up a bit this year,” White says. “The average is $155 per night. Airfares have increased about 20% compared to last year, but last year was extremely low. For the average round-trip air, it’s $205 and for car rental, the average price is $52 per day.”
Gasoline prices are down 14-cents a gallon in Iowa compared to last Thanksgiving. The current statewide average price is $2.06 a gallon, that’s nine-cents below the national average. White says fuel prices will continue to slide as we get closer to the holiday. Several Iowa cities have gas prices below $2.
(Thanks to Karla James)