AAA Forecast: Does The Increase Matter?

by Categorized: Commerce, Economy Date:

We love forecasts, but what should we make of this week’s AAA Thanksgiving travel forecast that says more Americans, and more New Englanders, will take to the roads this week for the fourth straight year?

The increase over last year is just under 1 percent — rising to 43.6 million Americans, or about 14 percent of the population who said they will travel at least 50 miles. About 90 percent will travel by car, a slightly higher ratio than last year, as air travel declines a bit.

Air fares and gasoline are both up in price.

In New England, where 50 miles gives you a lot more options, the ratio is almost the same, 13 percent.

But the average length of a round trip will be down this year, to 588 miles from 706 miles last year, and spending will be down by 10 percent.

So what does this mean for your travel plans?  Uh, figure on delays late Wednesday. It reminds me of the Boston comedian Tony V, who had a routine years ago describing all you really need in a weather forecast in the winter. “Is is cold outside? Oh yes. Do you need a coat? Absolutely!”

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