2.8M Floridians expected to travel for Thanksgiving

AAA, The Auto Club Group, forecasts a 5 percent increase in Floridians hitting the roads, skies, waterways and rails for the holiday weekend. Here's what to expect.
Published November 12 2018
Updated November 12 2018

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Americans are expected to come out in force for the holiday. AAA, The Auto Club Group, expects the highest number of travelers for the holiday weekend since 2005 — 54.3 million Americans, including 2.8 million Floridians.

“A strong economy and falling gas prices will fuel significant growth in the number of Floridians planning a trip for Thanksgiving,” said Matt Nasworthy, AAA Florida public affairs director, in a release. “With more travelers comes more congestion at airports and on the roads. AAA urges people to leave early, pack their patience and minimize distractions while behind the wheel.”

Most travelers — 48.5 million Americans and 2.5 million Floridians — will hit the road for the weekend.

For Floridians, this comes at a good time in terms of gas prices. Prices at the pump have fallen 24 cents over the month on average in Florida and 35 cents over the month in Tampa Bay.

Here's what to expect if you're traveling for Turkey Day:

Number of travelers:

  • National: 54.3 million (up 4.8 percent)

  • Florida: 2.8 million (up 5 percent)

Travel methods by Floridians:

  • Auto: 2.5 million (up 5 percent)

  • Air: 200,430 (up nearly 5 percent)

  • Other, such as waterways or train: 52,705 (up 1 percent)

Monday gas prices per gallon:

  • Florida: $2.57

  • Tampa Bay: $2.41

  • National: $2.70

Recent Thanksgiving weekend gas prices in Florida:

  • 2017: $2.47 per gallon

  • 2016: $2.10 per gallon

  • 2015: $2.08 per gallon

  • 2014: $2.10 per gallon

Worst times to drive:

  • Monday to Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Three-year average plane ticket price by day:

  • Monday, Nov. 19: $465

  • Tuesday, Nov. 20: $509

  • Wednesday, Nov. 21: $507

  • Thursday, Nov. 22: $446

Top destinations for Thanksgiving weekend:

  1. Orlando

  2. New York City

  3. Anaheim, California

  4. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  5. Las Vegas

  6. Cancun, Mexico

  7. Dallas

  8. Honolulu

  9. Washington, D.C.

  10. Miami

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.