2.6 million Floridians to travel during Thanksgiving holiday, AAA says

AAA 2017 Thanksgiving Forecast

The number of United States travellers hitting the road over the Thanksgiving holiday is expected to swell to levels not seen in more than a decade, triggering what could be "record" traffic delays in some of the country's biggest cities, says the American Automobile Association.

This is almost three and a half percent from a year ago.

Those motorists are expected to see higher gas prices than last year, since Michigan's current average of $2.70 is 67 cents higher than last year's average.

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Overall, motorists are on pace this year to break the record for most vehicle miles driven on US roads, helping spur potential record demand for gasoline.

In Florida, 190,720 are expected to take a flight, a 4.5 percent over a year ago, AAA said. It was higher at $2.56 a gallon a month ago, but lower at $2.18 a gallon past year at Thanksgiving. Over one million people in Wisconsin are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home next week. A year ago on Thanksgiving Day, the average price for a gallon of regular in Florida was $2.10. The majority of traveling Floridians are expected to take to the highways, despite gasoline prices that are expected to be the highest since 2014, AAA said.

AAA defines the Thanksgiving holiday travel period as November 22 to November 26. The average price at AAA Three Diamond rated accommodations has jumped 14 percent to $176 per night, although rates at Two Diamond rates hotels are down 5 percent to $117. At $157, on average, that is a 23 percent fare drop year-over-year. "A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season". Nationally, 89 percent of travelers - 45.5 million - will go by vehicle, which is 3.2 percent higher than previous year. Travel by trains and other modes (including buses and cruises) is expected to increase 1.1 percent to 1.48 million travelers.

Holiday high: auto rental daily rates will hit a five-year holiday high at $70/day, which may be due to an increase in domestic demand and cost of newer vehicles.

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