Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest when it comes to travel, and this year will be no exception. AAA forecasts that nationally 43.4 million people will travel during the holiday week. In the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, 5.01 million people are expected to travel, a 2.4 percent decrease over last year.
“Last year was the highest, the peak that we have seen since 2008,” said Bevi Powell, senior vice president for AAA East Central. “We feel there was some pent up demand after several years of people taking a wait and see attitude with the economy, and absent that pent up demand we’re seeing travel level off a little bit this year.”
Ninety percent of those traveling will be driving, and gas prices shouldn’t be bad.
“They’re 30 cents less than what we were paying last year,” Powell said. “In the Pittsburgh region, the gas prices are $3.35 compared to $3.65 last year. It’s important though to make sure you look at all the areas you’re traveling because some states are a little bit lower and some states are a little bit higher.”
Air travel is expected to be down 3.7 percent from last year. As far as cost, travelers this year can expect hotel rates to be roughly the same as last year, while car rental rates are up about six percent. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest travel day, followed by the Sunday after Thanksgiving.