fall road trip

Turkey Day Travel Statistics

Thanksgiving marks the start of one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. Make sure you are prepared by planning ahead and knowing the facts.

  • AAA projected 43.4 million Americans would travel at least 50 miles to reach their Thanksgiving destination in 2013
  • It is projected that 24.6 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines during the 12 day Thanksgiving travel period this year
  • The heaviest travel days in order will be Sunday (Nov 30), Monday (Dec 1) and Wednesday (Nov 26)
  • The lightest travel day will be Thanksgiving Day (Nov 27)
  • The busiest airports in terms of passenger volume will be Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, Los Angeles LAX, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas Fort Worth and New York JFK
  • 66% of Americans plan to drive to their Thanksgiving destination this year, either in their own car or a rented car
  • 62% of travelers say that their main reason for renting a car is to avoid wear and tear on their own vehicle

fall road trip

Quick tips for Thanksgiving travel

If you are flying:

  • Get to the airport early – Airports are more crowded this time of year so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get through check-in, the security line and to your gate
  • Check in online 24 hours in advance to make sure you have a seat assigned in case of a full flight
  • It’s fine to download your boarding pass on your phone but also bring a printed copy in case your phone dies

If you are driving:

  • Make sure you have plenty of gas at all times in case of a traffic delay
  • Plan alternative routes just in case any issues arise
  • Stay up to date on the weather conditions along your route
  • Bring your own snacks and water to avoid unnecessary stops
  • Fuel up on Thanksgiving day – historically gas prices have been cheaper
  • Buckle up and stay alert! The average number of accidents skyrockets during the Thanksgiving travel period

Other helpful articles

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