"Busiest holiday season:" Over 50 million Americans expected to travel this Thanksgiving

MILWAUKEE -- AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving; a 3.3 percent increase over last year.

According to a press released from AAA, the 2017 holiday weekend will see the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2005, with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year.

“Thanksgiving kicks off the start of what will likely become the busiest holiday season in more than a decade,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence. These factors should help fuel consumer spending and generate a strong finish for the travel industry this year.”

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26.

CLICK HERE to read the full report

Below is a breakdown of travel numbers from AAA:

Wisconsin Forecast:

    National Forecast:

      Travelers still hitting the road despite higher gas prices

      “AAA forecasts drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014, thanks to strong demand and high oil prices,” said Nick Jarmusz, spokesman, AAA- The Auto Club Group. “Although it will be more expensive to drive compared to recent years, the current price is not high enough to be a deterrent for travelers.

      Motorists should see some relief at the pump before the holiday. Oil prices have begun retreat from 2-year highs, which should allow gas prices to start drifting lower by the time people set out for their destination.

      Highs and Lows: Car Rentals, Hotel Rates, and Airfares

      According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index:

        Travelers will pay more for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels this holiday weekend. The average price increased by 14 percent to $176/night. Conversely, the average rate for a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel has decreased 5 percent with an average nightly cost of $117.