Largest projected number of travelers since 2007

Hamilton, NJ – AAA projects approximately 1.2 million New Jerseyans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, up only 1 percent  from those who traveled for Thanksgiving 2014 but the largest projected number of travelers since 2007.   Nationwide 46.9 million people will be traveling, a slight increase of 0.6 percent over the 46.6 million who traveled last year.  The 2015 Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 25th to Sunday, November 29th. 

“This Thanksgiving, more Americans will carve out time to visit friends and family since 2007,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “While many people remain cautious about the economy and their finances, many thankful Americans continue to put a premium on traveling to spend the holiday with loved ones.”  

Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving

Over 1 million New Jersey residents will take a holiday road trip this Thanksgiving, an increase of 1.1 percent over last year. Nationally, nearly 42 million Americans will be driving to their destination this year, an increase of 0.7 percent over last year.

Lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in seven years expected

Drivers nationwide continue to experience significant yearly savings in the price of gas and AAA estimates that consumers are saving nearly $265 million on gasoline every day compared to a year ago. This has helped boost disposable income, enabling many Americans to travel this Thanksgiving. Most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008. Today’s New Jersey average price for a gallon of gasoline is $1.99, 72 cents less than the average price on Thanksgiving last year ($2.71).

“One holiday gift has come early this year. Americans will likely pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008. Lower prices are helping boost disposable income, and enabling families to kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway,” continued Noble.

Travel by the Mode:

Automobile

  • New Jersey—1,039,769 (89% of all travelers), an increase of 1.1% from 2014.
  • Nationally— 41.9 million people (89%of holiday travelers), a 0.7% increase from last year.

Air

  • New Jersey— 99,726 (8.5% of all travelers), an increase of 0.3% from those who flew last year.
  • Nationally—3.6 million leisure travelers (7.7% of holiday travelers), an increase of 0.1% from 2014.

Train, Bus, Watercraft or Multi-Modal Travel

  • New Jersey— 29,630 (2.5% of all travelers), a decrease of 0.2% from last year.
  • Nationally— 1.4 million travelers (2.9 % of all travelers), down 1.4% from last year.

National Highlights from 2015 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast:

  • AAA forecasts that travel during the Thanksgiving holiday will increase for the seventh consecutive year.
  • The 46.9 million travelers expected to take to the roads, skies, rails and water is the highest since 2007 and 5.5 percent above the average volume since 2001.
  • The 2015 travel forecast is 3.8 percent higher than the average of the previous 10 years.
  • Nationally, as of  November 17th, the national average gas price of $2.15 is 74 cents per gallon cheaper than last year.
  • Despite steady wage growth and low prices that are boosting disposable income 3.1 percent, consumers are expected to increase spending only 3.0 percent as they remain cautious about their finances.

#AAAToTheRescue for thousands of motorists this Thanksgiving

AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates it will come to the rescue of approximately 26,000 stranded motorists this Thanksgiving holiday travel period - with almost 7,000 in New Jersey.  Nationally, AAA expects to rescue more than 360,000 motorists this Thanksgiving, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a holiday getaway. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

Download the AAA Mobile app before a Thanksgiving getaway

Before setting out on a Thanksgiving trip, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA / IHS Global Thanksgiving 2013 Forecast can be found here.