when, where and what is the best way to leave New York for Thanksgiving
Holiday travel in the Northeast is up 2.3% this year, the third highest ever, according to AAA Northeast. Lohud has prepared a guide for New Yorkers to avoid traffic jams and prepare for the holiday weekend in advance.
AAA released a travel forecast for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and estimated that between Wednesday, November 23 and Sunday, November 26, approximately 55.4 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home.
“The post-pandemic travel recovery continues as more Americans travel to see loved ones and new places,” said Robert Sinclair Jr., AAA Northeast spokesman. The most popular form of transportation during the holidays is the car, and gasoline prices for Americans will be lower than a year ago.”
Since AAA began tracking travel, they have noted that the best years for travel were 2005 and 2019. The most popular travel destinations in the United States are Orlando, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Miami. New York City ranks as the sixth most popular Thanksgiving destination in 2023.
If you’re planning an international trip, expect plenty of travel companions on flights to Cancun and Mexico City, as well as Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
On the roads
About 49.1 million Americans, up 1.7% from 2022, will drive for Thanksgiving 2023, according to AAA. They will also pay less for gas this year. The national average gas price is $3.36 per gallon, down 42 cents from 2022. Gasoline prices could fall further as oil marketers predict the conflict in Gaza will not spill beyond the region, according to AAA.
On the subject: Travel wisely: 15 things to do before flying on an airplane
Wednesday, November 22nd is forecast to be the busiest day for road travel. According to travel data company INRIX, average travel times on roads could be up to 88% higher than usual. To avoid the heaviest traffic, passengers should leave early in the morning or after 6 p.m., the company said.
The New York State Thruway is renovating its stops across the state. Work has been completed at 11 of these stops, but work is still underway at the following 12 stops, so be sure to plan for food and restroom breaks: Slotsburg, Ramapo, Ulster, Malden, Guilderland, Pattersonville, Oneida, Warners, Port Byron, Scottsville, Ontario, Angola.
In the air
Airfare prices are five percent higher than last year, but the number of Americans who will fly for the holiday is still growing. About 4.7 million people are expected to take flight this holiday, up 6.6% from 2022, according to AAA.
Tuesday, November 21 and Wednesday, November 22 will be the busiest and most expensive days for air travel. Sunday, November 26 and Monday, November 27 are the most popular days to return home.
If you’re flying to destinations in the US that require driving, the good news is that domestic car rental prices are down 20% from 2022 to $590. Bad news? The cost of renting a car abroad has increased by nine percent to an average of $696.
The average domestic airfare this year is $681, up five percent from 2022, and domestic hotel prices are down 12 percent to an average of $598.
Prices for international flights, as expected, will be slightly higher. The average price of an international flight actually decreased by 5.7% to about $1,231. But prices for international hotels increased by five percent to about $772.
Alternative travel options
Cruises, buses and trains are increasingly popular this year as passengers become more comfortable using public transport. About 1.55 million Americans will take a bus, train or boat in 2023, up 11% from 2022, according to AAA.
These modes of transport are cheaper in the US, with domestic cruise prices down 12% to an average of $1,507. International cruises, by contrast, will cost about $2,902, up 24% from 2022.