AAA: Almost 3 Million Floridians To Travel For Thanksgiving

More than 53.4 million people expected to travel nationwide

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Daytona Beach, FL - AAA says they’re expecting almost 3 million Floridians to travel this Thanksgiving, marking a 13 percent rebound from the total number of travelers last year.

In total, the auto club expects around 53.4 million Americans in total to travel over the holiday week. This brings travel volumes within 5 percent of pre-pandemic levels for the 2019 holiday. In Florida, total travel figures are only 2 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

“It’s beginning to look more like a normal holiday travel season, compared to what we saw last year,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA. “Now that U.S. borders are open, vaccinations are readily available, and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with their loved ones for the holidays.”

Out of the 2.85 million Floridians that plan to travel this season, about 2.63 million—almost 93 percent—are expected to travel by car, while nearly 192,000 are expected to travel by air. And even with a slight rise in gas prices, AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins says that’s probably not going to keep travelers off the road.

“So many people stayed home last year,” said Jenkins. “I wouldn’t anticipate higher gas prices to be a deterrent. People are anxious to get out and reconnect with their friends and family this Thanksgiving.”

On the subject of air travel, AAA found that the average lowest airfare is 27.3 percent less than last year, coming in at $132. Tuesday and Wednesday of that week are also expected to be the expensive and heaviest travel days, while Monday and Thursday are generally the lightest and least expensive. Those who wait to book last minute travel will find the best fares about two weeks before Thanksgiving, but availability may be limited.

For those traveling on the road, Jenkins recommends you make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the trip ahead. The auto club is expecting to respond to over 400,000 calls for help over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The most common calls are for dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts.

“Take that vehicle in to be inspected before this Thanksgiving,” said Jenkins. “Make sure your tires are in good condition, make sure your battery is in working order. We’ve had a lot of temperature changes recently, which can wreak havoc on your battery.”

AAA also recommends travel insurance to cover unexpected delays or trip interruptions.

Worst and Best Times to Travel

Day Worst Time Best Time
Wednesday 12:00 - 8:00PM After 9:00PM
Thursday 12:00 - 3:00PM Before 11:00AM
Friday 1:00 - 4:00PM Before 11:00AM
Saturday 2:00 - 7:00PM Before 12:00PM
Sunday 1:00 - 7:00PM Before 12:00PM

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