Thanksgiving travel predicted to decline for first time in 6 years

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, November 20, 2008

People may be seeing a change in the amount of money they have to spend on gas, but most have not been able to catch back up from the amount of debt they collected during the past year.

Many wish to spend the holiday season especially Thanksgiving and Christmas with family and friends. When it comes to traveling long distances to make a holiday appearance, some will find that it is just not possible this year while others will just find the time and money no mater what.

“The overall state of the economy continues to present real challenges for some Americans looking to travel this Thanksgiving,” said AAA Alabama spokesperson Clay Ingram. “However, the desire to spend time with family – combined with significantly lower gasoline prices than earlier this year – will provide a strong impetus for many Americans to travel this holiday season.”

AAA has predicted there will be 600,000 less drivers on the road this Thanksgiving compared to the 41.6 million that were on the road in 2007. That is a 1.4 percent drop. According to AAA records, the decrease of travel over Thanksgiving will be the first decline since six years ago in 2002. It also makes the fourth consecutive travel holiday that has had less travel within the year.

It is expected that 81 percent of all holiday travelers will use automobiles with one percent traveling by plane and eight percent will travel by train.

People traveling by air can expect higher prices for their plane ride as well as a rental car; however, all travelers can expect to see lower prices at motels.