Highest Number Of Thanksgiving Travelers Since 2007 Expected This Year

Nov 23, 2015

1.3 million Pennsylvanians are expected to drive this Thanksgiving.
Credit Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr

If you'll be driving this Thanksgiving, you might see an increase in traffic as you make your way to holiday gatherings.

AAA predicts that about 42 million people will travel 50 miles or more by car for this holiday weekend—the highest number of travelers since 2007.

And in Pennsylvania, 1.3 million are expected to be on the road, according to AAA East-Central Public Affairs Director Chelsea Pompeani.

The increase in travel is a result of lower gas prices nationally and in the Pittsburgh area, where the price at the pump is $0.69 per gallon lower than a year ago.

While most people will typically travel for Thanksgiving regardless of gas prices, Pompeani said increases in the cost of gas can still be discouraging for drivers. 

“There are some people who won’t travel because gas prices are more expensive,” she said. “Especially if [they’re] going to be traveling out of state … it does deter people from driving.”

About 3.6 million Americans are expected to fly to their destinations this Thanksgiving in addition to the holiday drivers, Pompeani added.

Thanksgiving is the largest American travel holiday, ahead of the Fourth of July and year-end holiday travel, she said.