NEW JERSEY -- AAA Travel forecasts 46.9 million Americans, including 1.1 million in New Jersey, will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday. That represents a slight (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 relatively low unemployment rate, consumers remain cautious about their finances. However, gas prices are far below 2014 levels, providing an holiday bonus to the more than 89 percent of holiday travelers driving to their destinations.
“Motorists will pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008,” Lewis added.
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.
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. Today’s national average price on Nov. 17 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, the average price is $1.98, 76 cents lower than Thanksgiving 2014.
AAA Northeast in New Jersey provides automotive, travel, insurance, financial and educational services to its nearly 400,000 members in Essex, Morris and Union Counties.