AAA Predicts increase in total Thanksgiving travel

AAA OKLAHOMA Modified: November 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm •  Published: November 14, 2012
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Hotel rates relatively flat, car rental rates increase 27 percent

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, Thanksgiving holiday hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to decrease one percent from a year ago, with travelers spending an average of $143 per night compared to $145 last year.

Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay one percent more, at an average cost of $104 per night. Weekend daily car rental rates will average $47 this year, compared to $37 last year.

Average travel distance decreases

According to the survey of intended travelers, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is expected to be 588 miles, a decline of 16.7 percent from last year when travelers planned to log 706 miles.

Median spending down ten percent; visiting family, dining and shopping top activities

Median spending is expected to total $498, a 10 percent decrease compared to the expected median spending of $554 among intended holiday travelers in 2011.

While spending time with friends and relatives and dining are primary activities for nearly all holidays, it is even more common over Thanksgiving. Spending time with family and friends (75 percent) and dining (56 percent) are the most popular activities planned by travelers. Despite lower median spending, half of all travelers plan to shop during the holiday, taking advantage of Black Friday sales on the day after Thanksgiving

AAA offers digital travel planning resources

AAA’s digital tools for travel planning “on the go” include eTourBook guides for 101 top North American destinations, free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Titles include Orlando, New York and the award-winning Las Vegas guide, as well as guides for national parks.

The free AAA Mobile app for iPhone and Android devices uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, find current gas prices and nearby member discounts and access AAA roadside assistance. Travelers can learn about the AAA Mobile app and AAA Mobile Web at AAA.com/mobile.

At AAA.com, travelers can find thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner or the searchable Travel Guides at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on major holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA / IHS Global Insight 2012 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Forecast can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.