Finance

AAA: More than 1.6 million Michiganders will celebrate Thanksgiving with holiday getaway

AAA: More than 1.6 million Michiganders will celebrate Thanksgiving with holiday getaway

Roughly 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home November 22-26, a 3.3 percent increase over past year and the most since 2005, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said in a report released on Thursday.

AAA expects Thanksgiving gas prices will be higher than recent years, with the current average price for gas in the state at $2.32 gallon, compared to $1.98 a gallon last year. About 3.3 million will fly, which is a 5 percent increase from last year's Thanksgiving holiday. "Although some people may adjust food expenses or other line items in their travel budget, we don't expect fuel prices to stop people from visiting friends and family this Thanksgiving".

Gas prices jumped more than 10 percent after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, peaking on September 8 at an average of $2.67 a gallon.

The company also added that according to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, travelers taking to the skies will pay the lowest average in five years for a round-trip flight for the top 40 domestic routes. The price of gas statewide is up from the $2.19 a gallon recorded a year ago. Fortunately, oil prices are beginning to soften, thanks to growth in crude production and inventories; and wholesale gas prices are slipping due to high gasoline production. That marks a 3.4 percent increase from past year, which AAA calls a good indicator of a strong economy and high consumer confidence.

"Thanksgiving kicks off the start of what will likely become the busiest holiday season in more than a decade", said Vicky Evans, AAA's Assistant Vice President of Travel Sales Development.

It is the sixth consecutive year air travel has grown during the holiday, and now accounts now for 7.8 percent of all travel, its highest share since 2010, AAA said.

Orlando is the No. 1 Thanksgiving destination, followed by Anaheim, California, New York City, Honolulu and Las Vegas.


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