Hotwire returns after Thanksgiving holiday

Nov. 20, 2014

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next edition of Hotwire will be out on Dec. 1. In the meantime, check out the latest news at MTD wishes all a wonderful holiday and safe travels. AAA Travel reports nearly 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home, up 4.2% over last year.

Almost 90% of travelers (41.3 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip and will enjoy the lowest gas prices in nearly four years. The busiest time for travel this Thanksgiving is Wednesday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 30.

Here are the 2014 highlights, from AAA:

* Thanksgiving holiday travel volume is expected to reach the highest level since 2007, with 46.3 million Americans taking a trip.

* The 2014 forecast is 4.2% higher than the 44.4 million Americans who traveled last year and the greatest growth rate for any holiday since Independence Day 2012.

* Road trippers likely will pay the lowest Thanksgiving price for fuel in five years. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.85 per gallon, which is 43 cents lower than the average price for Thanksgiving a year ago ($3.28 per gallon).

* More than 89% of travelers (41.3 million) will travel by automobile, a 4.3% increase from 39.6 million last year.

* Air travel for Thanksgiving is expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million Americans taking to the skies.

* Travelers will encounter moderately higher prices with airfares 1% higher, mid-range hotels up 8% and car rentals costing 10% more.

* The average distance traveled this Thanksgiving will be 549 miles roundtrip and Americans will spend an average of $573 during the holiday weekend.

Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

The national price of gasoline has fallen below $3 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010. AAA predicts most U.S. travelers will pay the cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices in four years. More than 89% (41.3 million) of holiday travelers will drive to their destination, a 4.3% increase from 2013.

Travel expenses rise modestly

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase 8% from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $154 per night compared to $142 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen 9% with an average cost of $114 per night.

Weekend daily car rental rates will average $55, 10% higher than last year. Airfares are flat.

Most of travelers’ budgets go toward transportation, food and shopping

Travelers are expected to spend an average of $573 over the course of their holiday travels. Despite lower average gas prices, travelers are allocating 31% of their budgets to fuel transportation. Food and beverage and shopping will account for 22% and 20% of holiday travel budgets, respectively.

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 holiday travel trends for more than two decades. For more information, go to