FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AAA Travel forecasts that 46.9 million Americans including 1.1 million in New Jersey, will be traveling 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.6 percent increase over the 46.6 million who traveled last year and the most since 2007. With 300,000 additional holiday travelers, this marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel.
“Thanksgiving is a family-oriented holiday, so it’s no surprise that more people are planning to spend time visiting friends and family,” said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs and government relations for AAA Northeast in New Jersey.
Despite improvements in the economy including steady wage growth, rising disposable income and a falling unemployment rate, consumers remain cautious about their finances, according to AAA. However, gas prices remain well below 2014 levels, providing an early holiday bonus to the more than 89 percent of holiday travelers driving to their destinations.
“Motorists will likely pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008,” said Lewis. “These lower prices are helping boost disposable income, allowing families to kick-start the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway.”
TRAVEL BY THE NUMBERS
- New Jersey – 1,039,769 (89% of all travelers), a 1.1% increase from one year ago.
- Nationally – 41.886 million (89.3% of all travelers), a 0.6% increase from last year.
- New Jersey – 99,726 (8.5% of all travelers), a 0.3% increase from 2014.
- Nationally - 3.614 million (7.7% of all travelers), a 0.1% increase from last Thanksgiving.
Train, Bus, Watercraft or Other Mode
- New Jersey – 29,630 (2.5% of all travelers), a 0.2% decrease from last year.
- Nationally – 1.4 million (3% of all travelers), a 1.4% decrease from 2014.
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. Most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008. Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.14, 74 cents less than the average price on Thanksgiving last year ($2.88). In New Jersey, today’s average price is $1.98, 76 cents lower than Thanksgiving 2014.