Despite inflation and previous holiday travel challenges, a record number of people are expected to travel during Thanksgiving. The peak travel days by air are Tuesday, Wednesday, and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, with the Transportation Security Administration set to screen 2.6 million passengers on Tuesday, 2.7 million on Wednesday, and an estimated 2.9 million on Sunday. AAA predicts 55.4 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles between next Wednesday and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, with the highest road congestion anticipated on Wednesday. Weather may pose challenges, as a storm system is forecasted to move from the southern Plains to the Northeast on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Despite potential travel disruptions, prices are on the decline, with airfares averaging $268 (down 14% from a year ago), and gasoline prices dropping by about 45 cents per gallon from last year’s average of $3.67.
While pump prices are lower, a GasBuddy survey revealed that the number of people planning extended driving trips for Thanksgiving has remained relatively unchanged from last year. Patrick De Haan, an analyst for the price-tracking service, observed that inflation has eased, but some expenses, like food, continue to rise, and consumers are increasing credit card charges while saving less.