AAA projects 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That's an increase of 0.7 percent over the 43.3 million people who traveled last year.
This increase marks the fourth consecutive year of growing holiday travelers since 2008 when Thanksgiving travel fell by 25 percent. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 21, to Sunday, Nov. 25.
“Thanksgiving travel hit a decade low in 2008 when only 37.8 million Americans traveled,” said AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet in a news release. “Since that year we have seen a steady increase in the number of travelers taking to the roads and skies for the holiday. Americans continue to find ways to economize their budgets so they can gather around the holiday table to carve the turkey.”
AAA estimates the national average price of gasoline will drop to between $3.25-3.40 a gallon by the holiday, similar to last year’s average of $3.32, which was the most expensive average ever on Thanksgiving.
Despite the historically high prices paid by motorists this year, the national average has declined by nearly 40 cents a gallon since early October and should continue to drop through the end of the year. The national average price of gas for Thanksgiving from 2007-2011 is $2.75 a gallon.
Gas prices in University City today are averaging $3.09, according to a survey of prices on StLouisGasPrices.com.
Editor's note: This information was provided courtesy of AAA.