TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – The holiday season is officially kicking off with Thanksgiving next Thursday. Millions of Americans are preparing for a season of record travel and food.
Here’s a look at just how busy experts say this Thanksgiving will be across the country:
More than 55 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles away from home for next week’s holiday. Nearly 2.9 million of those are Floridians.
An estimated 49.3 million of those travelers will hit the road this Thanksgiving. According to AAA, that will be 2.8 percent more than 2018, and the most travelers on the road since 2005.
AAA estimates it will receive more than 368,000 calls for roadside assistance this Thanksgiving. More than 7 percent, or 25,000 of them, will be in Florida. The three most common calls will be from drivers with flat tires, dead batteries and/or lockouts.
“The best way to avoid car trouble this Thanksgiving is to have their vehicle professionally inspected,” said Mark Jenkins a spokesman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Mechanics can ensure the recent cold weather didn’t damage your car battery. They can also ensure your tires, brakes, belts and hoses are all in good shape for your trip.”
Travel across the less crowded modes of transportation – like trains, buses and cruise ships – will see an increase of 1.4 percent, reaching 1.49 million passengers. If you haven’t booked a plane ticket, it may be worthwhile to look into these types of transportation.
Even airlines across the country have seen a 4.6 percent increase in holiday travel this year. More than 4.45 million domestic passengers are expected to fly, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the Thanksgiving holiday.
To see which airports to avoid this season, click here.
Almost 46 million turkeys are eaten each year for Thanksgiving, the average of which is around 16 pounds.
Cooks who plan on pumpkin pie will snag a bit of the 5 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the United States each year.
Cranberry sauce will come from the 735 million pounds of cranberries produced in the country annually.
The average cost of Thanksgiving dinner is estimated to be $54.18 per household.
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