Thanksgiving travel rises above pre-pandemic records

Thanksgiving travel rises above pre-pandemic records
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 6:37 PM EST

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Nearly 55 million Americans were projected to travel during the Thanksgiving weekend.

The long travel holiday weekend began Wednesday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 27. This year, AAA projected this to be the third-busiest Thanksgiving travel since the organization started tracking in 2000.

“Everyone was traveling for Thanksgiving,” traveler Cheryl Feigel said. “I mean everyone. Everyone was talking about how much food they had eaten.”

Compared to pre-pandemic records, AAA said more than 1.4 million travelers are going out of town for Thanksgiving by bus, train, or cruise ship. That’s more than a 23% jump compared to 2019.

“We are above 2019 numbers on some days,” Tiffany Stanley, AAA East Central Spokesperson, said. “It is very clear we are getting back to normal travel. You need to pack your patience when you are on the road. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination because there is going to be traffic.”

Most travelers visited their loved ones by car. AAA estimated nearly 49 million people are visiting family and friends on the road.

Thanksgiving road trips increased by .5% since 2021. Car travel remains below 2019 levels.

Air travel increased to 8%, with 4.5 million Americans traveling to their Thanksgiving destinations. AAA said that’s more than 330,000 travelers since 2019.