AAA: 48.7 million travel over the Thanksgiving holiday
According to AAA, 48.7 million Americans journeyed more than 50 miles during the course of the Thanksgiving holiday period. This marks an increase of 1 million over the 2015 figure and would stand as the highest total since 2007. AAA said that roughly 43.5 million drove with the remainder getting to their destinations aboard plane, trains, buses and cruise ships.
The AAA cites an improving economic picture during the second half of 2016 as the single largest factor behind this travel uptick, bolstered by rising wages, increased consumer spending and the overall strength of consumer confidence. However, the relatively attractive price of gasoline also has played a significant role, as AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved over $28 billion on fuel costs so far this year compared to the same period in 2015. Although the current national average price of $2.16 is $0.11 more than last year, it’s still the lowest price per gallon since the $1.85 figure in 2008.
AAA also reminds all travelers during the holiday season to take a moment to perform a bit of preventive maintenance. It should start with a full visual inspection of your vehicles to see if there are any obvious problems that need to be addressed before you set out. Beyond that, the organization recommends checking that all fluids as well as tire pressures are at their proper levels, carrying a basic first aid kit and downloading the free AAA Mobile app for iOS and Android that offers helpful information on route planning, gas pricing and more, even if you’re not a AAA member.