Updated: November 30, 2023
For the second year in a row, an all-time record number of residents in the Pacific states are projected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA Hawaiʻi.
AAA predicts 9.9 million residents of Hawaiʻi, Alaska, Calif., Wash. and Ore. will travel during the Thanksgiving holiday period this year- a 3% increase from last year’s record number of travelers and also a 3% increase from 2019, the last Thanksgiving holiday before the pandemic.
Nationwide, AAA is projecting this Thanksgiving to be the third busiest on record, with 55.4 million travelers expected compared to 58.6 million in 2005 and 56 million in 2019.
The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as the five days from Nov. 22 to 26.
“Thanksgiving is one of the more popular holidays for people to travel to see family and friends so they can take part in annual traditions like turkey dinners and Black Friday shopping,” said Jenna Miller, AAA Hawaiʻi’s vice president for travel products and services. “Travel demand has been strong all year, and AAA’s Thanksgiving travel forecast reflects people’s ongoing desire to get away and spend time with their loved ones.”
Warm weather destinations, theme parks, and cruise port cities will be among the most popular destinations this holiday season. Nationally, AAA expects Florida cities, New York, and Hawaiʻi to be among the top US destinations and internationally, some top destinations will include Cancun, Punta Cana, and European cities like Rome, Paris and London.
Air travelers should plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours ahead of time for international departures. The Auto Club recommends people who drive themselves to the airport reserve a parking space, download the airline’s app ahead of time and check-in for the flight at home to avoid long lines at kiosks in the terminal.
Hawaiʻi drivers are getting a break at the pump compared to last Thanksgiving, with gas prices averaging 20 to 50 cents lower per gallon than this time last year. For those traveling to other US states, gas prices have been dropping and averages are currently ranging from under $3 a gallon in many Southern states to just over $5 a gallon in California.
Visit gasprices.aaa.com to find average gas prices or calculate the estimated gas cost for a Thanksgiving trip.
AAA Hawaiʻi recommends making sure vehicle maintenance is up-to-date and tires and battery are in good condition if traveling by automobile this holiday season. Visit AAA.com/AAR to find a reputable AAA-Approved Auto Repair facility.