Thanksgiving holiday travel projected to be among busiest in decades
Despite the high price of gasoline, this Thanksgiving holiday weekend is projected to be the third busiest for travel since 2000, the year AAA started tracking it.
Nearly 600,000 Connecticut residents will travel at least 50 miles over the holiday weekend ― defined as Wednesday through Sunday ― a 2% increase over last year and in line with pre-pandemic holiday travel levels, AAA is projecting.
In New England, almost 2.5 million people are projected to travel, up 2% over last year. Nationally, the projection is 54.6 million travelers, an increase of 1.5% over last year and 98% of the pre-pandemic volume.
“Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” Tracy Noble, a spokeswoman for AAA in Greater Hartford, said in a news release issued Monday. “Plan ahead and be prepared for backups and delays whether you’re driving or flying, as the roads and airports are expected to both be busy this Thanksgiving season.”
About 85% of Connecticut travelers will be driving to their holiday destinations even though gas prices are significantly higher than they were last year, AAA projects . As of Sunday, the average gas price in Connecticut was $3.71 a gallon, up 16 cents over a year ago. Nationally, the average price was $3.67, up 26 cents over last year.
Most travelers do not appear to be fazed by the price of gas, Noble said.
AAA also is projecting that more than 75,000 Connecticut residents will fly during the holiday weekend, an increase of more than 9% over last year. In New England, air travel over the holiday is projected to be up 9%, and nationally, the projected increase is nearly 8%.
“Airport parking spaces fill up fast, so reserve a spot ahead of time and arrive early,” Noble advised. “Anticipate long TSA lines. If possible, avoid checking a bag to allow for more flexibility if flights are delayed or you need to reschedule.”
The number of Connecticut residents traveling by bus, train and other modes of transportation is projected to reach nearly 11,000, a 20% increase over last year.