Florida – According to AAA, 48.7 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, including over 2.5 million Floridians.
That national figure represents a 1.8% increase over the previous year, and it’s the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2007, just before the recession hit.
This year’s rise in travel is largely due to an improving economy and decreasing gas prices. As of Sunday, November 20, a gallon of regular self serve unleaded cost $2.10 in FL and $2.14 nationally. “Motorists are beginning to find gas prices under $2 a gallon again,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “Low oil prices, lower demand and high gasoline supplies are causing the slump at the pump. Gas prices should push even lower through the holiday weekend, unless crude oil prices suddenly surge.” AAA estimates that US drivers have already saved over $28 billion at the pump so far this year.
89% of the holiday travelers will be driving. Air travel’s expected to rise about 5% in FL over last year to 183,370 and other modes of transportation, such as cruises, trains, and buses, are expected to go up by about 3% in the Sunshine State to 54,090.
“This is the most traveled holiday of the year, and as usual, there is an emphasis on road trips,” said Joseph J. Richardson Jr., President and CEO of AAA. “If you are one of the 43.5 million people on the road, we urge you to be patient in traffic and limit distractions while behind the wheel.”
Chart courtesy AAA.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.