DEARBORN (WWJ) – An estimated 1.3 million Michigan residents will travel 50 miles or more from home during the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday period, on par with last year, according to AAA Michigan.
They join 43.4 million Americans who will travel nationally over the Nov. 27-Dec. 1 holiday weekend.
Vehicle travel remains the most popular form of Thanksgiving transportation, at approximately 90 percent. Michigan travelers can expect to pay about $3.23 per gallon for gas, which is roughly 23 cents less than last year and the cheapest gas price for the Thanksgiving holiday since 2010.
Seven percent of Michigan travelers will go by air, slightly less last year, while the remaining three percent will go by train or bus.
Thanksgiving airfares are comparable to last year, with the average lowest round-trip rate $187 for the top 40 U.S. air routes, compared to $188 last year. Weekend daily car rental rates will average $50, compared to $47 last year.
The Thanksgiving holiday is unique falling on a Thursday every year, with many off from work the Friday after — giving travelers more time to spend with family and friends. The majority of travelers (37 percent) surveyed plan to leave Wednesday, with 33 percent planning to return the following Sunday. Another 24 percent expect to return on Monday, Dec. 2 or later.
Thanksgiving holiday travel is typically less expensive than other holiday travel because of the emphasis on the Thanksgiving meal and family gatherings, AAA said.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight.