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Slight Decline Expected in Thanksgiving Travel - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Slight Decline Expected in Thanksgiving Travel

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AAA projects 43.4 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a decrease of 1.5 percent from the 44 million people who traveled last year.

This decrease falls just shy of last Thanksgiving's four-year peak since the recession-driven declines in 2008-2009 when Thanksgiving travel fell by 25 percent.

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 27 to Sunday, Dec. 1. Highlights include:

  • Ninety percent of travelers or 38.9 million to travel by automobile, a decline of 1.6 percent
  • Median spending expected to drop nearly seven percent to $465, compared to $498 last year.
  • The Thanksgiving holiday is a less expensive holiday for travelers compared to other holidays. This year Labor Day spending was expected to be $804, Independence Day $749 and Memorial Day $659.
  • Holiday air travel to decline 3.7 percent to 3.14 million travelers from 3.26 million in 2012
  • Average distance traveled to increase to 601 miles from 588 miles.
  • The Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be the busiest single day of travel with 37 percent of travelers departing for trips Nov. 27.
  • The West North Central region of the United States, which includes North Dakota and six other states, will see a smaller decline in travelers (0.3%) than the national projection of 1.5 percent.
  • As with past holidays, the West North Central region will see the highest share of its population travel.  Roughly 17.8 percent of the region's population will travel, significantly higher than the 13.6 percent nation share and easily the highest share of travelers across all nine Census regions.

The complete Thanksgiving travel forecast can be found at Newsroom.AAA.com.

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