1.3 Million Michiganians To Travel During Thanksgiving, Says AAA
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — An estimated 1.3 million Michiganians will travel 50 miles or more from home during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday period, up nearly nine percent from last year, says AAA Michigan. They join approximately 42.2 million Americans who will travel nationally – up 11 percent – according to AAA’s survey. The holiday period is defined as Wednesday, November 24 to Sunday, November 28.
“While travelers remain cautious with household budget and discretionary spending amid high levels of unemployment, many are in a better financial position this Thanksgiving than a year ago,” noted AAA Michigan President Steve Wagner. “This improvement, along with a strong desire to spend time with family and friends, is expected to propel a significant increase in Thanksgiving travel.”
Vehicle travel represents the most popular form of Thanksgiving transportation. Ninety-four percent of Michigan travelers will go by vehicle, up from last year’s eighty-seven percent. Nationally, 94 percent of holiday travelers will also go by vehicle – the highest percent in AAA’s recorded history for the Thanksgiving holiday period. Michigan travelers can expect to pay $3.00 per gallon for gas (as of November 16), 42 cents higher than last year.
In Michigan, nearly four percent of travelers will go by air (down from 6 percent last year), mirroring the four percent who will travel by air nationally. Nearly two percent of travel statewide and nationally will be by other modes, including rail, bus and boat.
While many travelers will stay with family or friends during the holiday, those needing hotel rooms will find rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings expected to increase six percent from a year ago, with travelers spending an average $136 per night, compared to $128 last year. Based on a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans this holiday will be 816 miles, the same as last year (815). Median spending is expected to be $495, on par with last year. Airfares over Thanksgiving are expected to increase four percent from last year, with the average lowest round-trip rate of $176 for the top 40 U.S. air routes. Weekend daily car rental rates will dip four percent to an average $42.
Both roads and airports will be busy – and AAA advises travelers to allow extra time to get to their destination. The holiday coincides with Michigan’s firearm deer hunting season (November 15-30), which means hunters also will take advantage of the holiday weekend.
During last year’s holiday period, there were 10 fatal crashes resulting in 11 fatalities on Michigan roads. Alcohol was not a known factor in any of the crashes. Of the 11 victims with restraints available, three were known to not be wearing a safety belt.
AAA Michigan and the Michigan State Police are once again partnering with the Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) this holiday. Both groups urge all motorists to avoid alcohol, buckle up, be well rested and drive defensively. Drivers should make sure their vehicles are winter ready – and carry a winter emergency kit – including snow brush, shovel, ice scraper, flashlight, first aid kit and gloves, hats and blankets.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research conducted by IHS Global Insight. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2010 Thanksgiving holiday forecast can be found at AAA.com/news.
SOURCE AAA Michigan