Holiday travel expected to be up

Published 12:06 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

C121QP19013C Travel forecasters are predicting the most travelers this Thanksgiving since before the recession.

AAA forecasts 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, which is a 0.6 percent increase over the 46.6 million who traveled last year.

According to AAA Spokesperson Clay Ingram, this marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel.

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wed., Nov. 25, to Sun., Nov. 29.

“This Thanksgiving, more Americans will carve out time to visit friends and family since 2007,” Ingram said. “While some people remain cautious about the economy and their finances, many thankful Americans continue to put a premium on traveling to spend the holidays with loved ones.”

Despite improvements in the economy, including steady wage growth, rising disposable income and a falling unemployment rate, consumers remain cautious about their finances, Ingram said.

Gas prices remain well below last year’s levels, providing an early holiday bonus.

“One holiday gift has come early this year,” Ingram said. “Americans will likely pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008. Lower prices are helping boost disposable income, and enabling families to kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway.”

The national average for gas is $2.15 per gallon and the Alabama average is $1.90 per gallon.

Locally gas prices range from $1.78 per gallon to $1.89 per gallon.