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Four million Texans are predicted to travel during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA Texas. Above, traffic is snarled during an accident in 2019. Daily Record file photo by Nick Castillo

4 million Texans predicted to travel during Thanksgiving holiday

Monday, November 21, 2022

Four million Texans are predicted to travel during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA Texas.

The number of Texans expected to travel at least 50 miles or more during the holiday will represent a 1% increase from 2021 and approximately 95% of pre-pandemic volumes.

“Travel for Thanksgiving continues to rebound to nearly pre-pandemic levels as families and friends are eager to enjoy time together during the holiday weekend,” AAA Texas Vice President and General Manager Galen Grillo said. “Plan ahead, consider working with a trusted travel advisor and remember proper vehicle maintenance to help prevent breakdowns.”

AAA predicts 54.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving, representing a 2% increase from 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes. AAA states this year will be the third busiest Thanksgiving since the organization started tracking travel rates in 2000. Thanksgiving travel is expected to be the sixth busiest for the Lone Star State.

AAA says most travelers — around 3.6 million people — will be traveling by car in Texas, while 49 million Americans will use their car to travel.

Air travel is up 6% from 2021 with more than 238,000 Texans traveling by flight to their Thanksgiving destinations, AAA Texas said, adding that air travel will be up 8% compared to 2021 with an increase of more than 330,000 travelers flying this Thanksgiving.

AAA Texas Travel Advisors recommends reserving a parking spot ahead of time and arriving early to the airport. Also, anticipate long TSA lines. If possible, avoid checking a bag to allow for more flexibility if flights are delayed or you need to reschedule.

Texans will also travel by bus, cruise or train, AAA Texas said. More than 1.4 million travelers are expected to use a bus, train or cruise ship during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“With travel restrictions lifted and more people comfortable taking public transportation again, it’s no surprise buses, trains, and cruises are coming back in a big way,” AAA Texas Spokesperson Daniel Armbruster said. “Regardless of the mode of transportation you have chosen, expect crowds during your trip and at your destination. If your schedule is flexible, consider off-peak travel times during the holiday rush.”

Gas prices fall 11.9 cents ahead of Thanksgiving.

Gas prices have again fallen. According to GasBuddy, the cost of regular unleaded gas has decreased by 11.9 cents to $3.64 per gallon nationwide compared to Nov. 14

“What an incredible turnaround in the last week. While a decline was expected in more states than last week, I didn’t expect every single state to hop on the bandwagon so quickly,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “But, it’s terrific news as motorists prepare for Thanksgiving travel, with tens of thousands of stations under $3 per gallon, and thousands more to join in the next few weeks, barring a dramatic turnaround.

“Everyone will be seeing relief at the pump this week, with even more substantial declines on the way as oil prices plummeted last week to briefly trade under $80 per barrel. It’s not impossible that if oil markets hold here, we could see a national average of $2.99 around Christmas, certainly the gift that every motorist is hoping for. Drivers shouldn’t be in a rush to fill up as prices will come down nearly coast-to-coast into the heavily traveled Thanksgiving holiday.”

San Marcos Record

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