Ragina C. Ali
Public Relations Manager, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361152)
C: (443) 465-5020
RAli@aaamidatlantic.com

 

TOWSON, MD (Thursday, November 21, 2019) –– T is not just for turkey this Thanksgiving, it’s also for travel, in a very big way. Nearly 1.15 million Marylanders are expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes during the Thanksgiving holiday travel weekend, a 2.2% increase over 2018, according to AAA. Nationwide, more than 55 million Americans are expected to journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, a 2.9% increase over 2018. Nationally, and in Maryland, this will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000, trailing only the record set in 2005.

 

The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations and, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects Wednesday afternoon to be the worst travel period nationally, with trips taking as much at four times longer than normal in major metros.

 

“This Thanksgiving we will see the most Americans carving time out to visit family and friends since 2005,” said Ragina C. Ali, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “A strong economy and labor market are generating higher wages and more disposable income, enabling more confident consumers to spend on travel this holiday season.The increase in the number of travelers from Maryland taking to the roads, air and other modes of transport, mirrors the national trend.”

 

2019 Projected Thanksgiving Holiday Travel

Travel By Mode

Estimated # of American Travelers

% Increase

 

Estimated # of Maryland Travelers

% Increase

Total

55.2 million

+2.9%

 

1,149,100

+2.2%

Auto

49.3 million

(89% of travelers)

+2.8%

 

1,042,500

(91% of travelers)

+2.1%

Air

4.4 million

(8% of travelers)

+4.6%

 

84,800

(7% of travelers)

+3.5 %

Other Modes (bus, train, watercraft)

1.49 million

(3% of travelers)

+1.4%

 

21,800

(2% of travelers)

+0.8%

 

  • Via Roadways. A projected 1,042,500 Marylanders plan to travel to their Thanksgiving holiday destinations by automobiles, an increase of 2.1% from the 1,020,800 area residents who traveled by automobile over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2018. Travel by automobile is the planned mode of travel for 91% of Marylanders.
  • By Air. A projected 84,800 Marylanders plan to fly to their Thanksgiving holiday destinations, which is an increase of 3.5% over the 81,900 people who flew in 2018. Air travel is the planned mode of travel for 7% of travelers.
  • Via Other Modes. The number of local residents traveling by trains, buses and other modes of transportation is forecast to increase by 0.8% to 21,800 persons in comparison to 21,600 in 2018.

Lower Gas Prices Fuel Road Trips

For the majority of Americans, AAA expects gas prices to be fairly similar to last year's Thanksgiving holiday. As of Wednesday, the national average price for gasoline was $2.59 per gallon, two cents more than the average price on Thanksgiving last year ($2.57). Maryland’s average was $2.47, three cents higher than last year’s holiday average of $2.44 per gallon.

 

“While Maryland gas prices are similar to last year’s, as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, travelers appear to be committed to making the journey and sharing the holiday with loved ones,” said Ali.

 

AAA suggests motorists travel during off-peak times – early morning and/or later in the evening. Avoid afternoon and early evening travel the Wednesday before Thanksgiving; same for the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

 

Distracted Driving – “Don’t Drive Intexticated”

As near-record numbers of holiday travelers hit the road in the coming days, AAA Mid-Atlantic urges motorists – “Don’t Drive Intexticated.” Launched in April of this year, AAA’s ‘Don’t Drive Intoxicated – Don’t Drive Intexticated’ campaign is even more important during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.“With more motorists on the roadways and maneuvering crowded parking lots, it is critical to remove all distractions from behind the wheel, especially mobile phones,” said Ali.The campaign targets drivers who would never consider getting behind the wheel after drinking an alcoholic beverage and, yet, will use a mobile device while driving, dangerously taking their eyes and minds off the road. Motorists can pledge to not drive distracted at aaa.com/dontdrivedistracted.

 

AAA To Rescue More Than 368,000 Nationwide, Nearly 8,100 In Maryland; Slow Down, Move Over

  • AAA expects to rescue more than 368,000 motorists this Thanksgiving weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues.
  • Last Thanksgiving (Nov. 21 – 25), AAA Mid-Atlantic rescued nearly 8,100 motorists in Maryland.
  • AAA reminds motorists to Slow Down, (and) Move Over for stopped first responders and disabled vehicles at the roadside, including tow trucks.
  • While all 50 states have Slow Down, Move Over laws, an average of 23 tow operators are killed doing their job to help stranded motorists on the roadside each year.

Highs And Lows: Car Rentals, Airfare And Hotel Rates (AAA’s Leisure Travel Index)

  • Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will increase 7% this year, with an average round trip ticket landing at $175.
  • Travelers can expect to save on car rentals this Thanksgiving holiday season. At $75/day, the average daily rate is 20% less than 2018.
  • AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel rates have decreased 5% this year to an average nightly rate of $158.Conversely, the average rate for a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel has increased slightly – one percent – to an average nightly rate of $125.

Travel Tip For The Friendly Skies: Fly Monday Before Thanksgiving

A recent analysis of AAA’s flight booking data from the last three years revealed that flying the Monday before the Thanksgiving travel rush is the best option for travelers. It has the lowest average ticket price ($486) prior to the holiday and is a lighter travel day than later in the week. Travelers can also save by traveling on Thanksgiving Day, which has the week’s lowest average price per ticket ($454).

 

Methodology:

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Wednesday, Nov. 27 to Sunday, Dec. 1.

 

In cooperation with AAA, IHS Markit developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes, using macroeconomic drivers such as employment; output; household net worth; asset prices including stock indices; interest rates; housing market indicators and variables related to travel and tourism, including prices of gasoline, airline travel and hotel stays.

 

About INRIX:
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.

 

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Mailing Address:
8600 LaSalle Road, Ste 639
Towson, MD 21286

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to over 60 million members nationwide and nearly 988,000 members in Maryland.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit AAA.com.


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