If you are planning to hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday, you are far from alone.
According to a new Cars.com survey, 57% of respondents plan to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving. That’s a 46% increase from 2021, when coronavirus concerns led people to stay home and eat turkey, giblets and cranberries in solitude.
There isn’t much anxiety this year as the survey also reveals that among Americans traveling, nearly 6 out of 10 are going farther than usual, with 34% traveling more than 100 miles.
“With more and more companies turning to permanent remote or hybrid programs for American workers along with ongoing concerns about the pandemic, vacation travel decisions are changing and providing a more compelling reason to drive personal vehicles on other forms of transportation. “said Mike Hanley, Cars.com senior editor. “For many, the lower costs, greater flexibility and greater convenience are enough to tip the scales in favor of road travel during the holiday season.”
The pandemic still hangs over travel plans
In other words, worries about the Coronavirus have not vanished, unlike – let’s say – the willingness to wear a mask or be nice to your fellow travelers. This is why 84% of Thanksgiving travelers arrive at Grandma’s home by car, truck, crossover SUV, minivan, or Uber.
Yet the resistance to air travel is understandable. With American Airlines cancels more than 1,400 flights this Halloween weekend, And Southwest canceled more than 2,000 flights between October. 8 and October 13, and Spirit Airlines eliminated 6% of its program last month, the specter of not coming home for the holidays is very real.
Then there are the crowded airports, the mandatory masks, the cramped seats, and the planes full of screaming children, crybaby dogs, grumpy people not to mention the total lack of any food service during the flight, aside from a Lilliputian packet of crackers. Red fish. No wonder the open road appeal seems so much more attractive no matter how heavy the traffic is. And personal transportation is much cheaper for 65% of respondents who travel with children and 39% who bring pets.
And have you noticed the price of gasoline? That’s enough to give you heartburn
But there is a caveat; 50% said gas prices impact their travel plans and 12% said they won’t drive if gas prices rise. And for the record, the national median price for a gallon of gasoline is $ 3.42 for the regular, $ 3.76 for the mid tier, $ 4.04 for the premium, $ 3.65 for the diesel, and $ 3.65 for the diesel. 3.05 for E85. according to AAA, from 15 November.
This compares to last year’s price of $ 2.13, $ 2.48, $ 2.74, $ 2.39, and $ 1.95 respectively. However, it’s much cheaper than Bud Light, which can easily cost around $ 9 a gallon.
However, nearly 1 in 4 say the pandemic is the reason they stay home, while nearly half say they don’t travel on Thanksgiving. A remaining 21% cannot afford to travel.
And why do so many people travel? Seventy percent are visiting family, and the odds are they live in the Southeast, where 36% will end up, followed by the Mid Atlantic at 17%.
Oh, and one more thing. Given the onslaught of travel that Thanksgiving typically causes, keep in mind that 48% of drivers plan to leave the weekend before Thanksgiving now that so many people work remotely.