Holiday Travel

Thanksgiving Travel This Year Could Strain People's Wallets — and Patience

More than 53 million people plan to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA, with air travel up by 80 percent since last year

A file photo of an airport.
Getty Images

Thanksgiving travel is bouncing back this year — and so are expectations for holiday travel chaos on the roads, rails and in the air.

In its holiday travel forecast, AAA said this week it expects more than 53.4 million people to travel between the period Nov. 24 to Nov. 28, up 13 percent from 2020 levels. 

The Transportation Security Administration said it is already screening between 1.9 and 2.2 million people daily, and a looming Nov. 22 deadline for the agency's workers to be vaccinated has sparked concern about a possible worker shortage and longer security lines during the holiday.A spokeswoman for the TSA told NBC News that it is focused on getting employees vaccinated by the deadline.

Spiking gas prices aren’t deterring travelers this year, either. Around 48 million people will take to the roads this Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA. At around $3.40, the average price at the pump this week is the highest since 2014, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

For travel experts advice on how to save money and how to deal with the expected crush of travelers, read the full story here on

Contact Us