By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) – A record number of travelers are expected to head out on a trip for the Thanksgiving holiday, officials say.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts 54 million people will be venture to celebrate the holiday, the highest number since 2005.
“Consumers have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season: higher wages, more disposable income and rising levels of household wealth,” Bill Sutherland, AAA Travel senior vice president, said in a statement. “This is translating into more travelers kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway, building on a positive year for the travel industry.”
With falling gas prices nationwide, the majority of people will be traveling by road.
Of the 54 million travelers, nearly 49 million will be hitting the road this year, a 5 percent increase from last year.
The large number of cars on the road will cause major congestion with estimates the number will reach four times the normal amount, according to INRIX, a global mobility analytics company.
Many cities across the northeast could also face the coldest temperatures on record on the holiday Thursday due to an area of high pressure coming from the Arctic Circle, according to the National Weather Service.
Thanksgiving day is a national holiday in the U.S., and is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.