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Over 1.2 Million Virginians Expect to Travel for Thanksgiving

thanksgiving travel woman enjoys autumn leaves in forest

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., (Nov. 22, 2013)In Virginia, almost 1,270,000 travelers will take to the roads, rails, and skies this holiday, a 1.6 percent decline from 2012, but still the second highest number since 2007. AAA projects 43.4 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a decrease of 1.5 percent from the 44 million people who traveled last year. This decrease falls just shy of last Thanksgiving’s four-year peak since the recession-driven declines in 2008-2009 when Thanksgiving travel fell by 25 percent. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 27 to Sunday, Dec. 1.

“The solid travel numbers, despite the slight decrease from 2012, is a reassuring sign that the economy is getting stronger,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia.

GAS PRICES:  AAA estimates that most drivers will pay the cheapest gas prices for the Thanksgiving holiday since 2010. The decreased cost of gas will provide consumers with real savings that could be used for other purposes on the trip. Gas prices in Virginia today average $3.15, or 10 cents lower than this day last year.

Chart Reflect November 22, 2013 Prices

For a gallon of self-serve, regular gasoline: 





Change since Yesterday

Last Month

Last Year



up two cents





Up one cent



Hampton Roads Area


Up three cents





Up two cents



AVERAGE TRAVEL DISTANCE DECREASES:  According to the survey of intended travelers, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is expected to be 601 miles, which is an increase of 2.2 percent from last year when travelers planned to log 588 miles.

AIR/OTHER: In Virginia, air travel is expected to decrease as much as 4.1% for the 2013 holiday weekend; while other modes of travel are expected to increase as much as 22%.   

MEDIAN SPENDING DOWN TEN PERCENT:  Median spending is expected to be $465, a 6.6 percent decrease compared to the expected median spending of intended holiday travelers ($498) in 2012.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA / IHS Global Insight Labor Day 2013 Forecast can be found here.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.  For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at

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CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Tidewater Automobile Association of Virginia, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Tidewater Virginia is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the Tidewater Virginia region (All Hampton Roads cities, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg; Virginia's Eastern Shore; as well as the following counties: Greensville, Surry, Brunswick, Isle of Wight, Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Richmond County, Southampton, Sussex, Mecklenburg, James City County, York, Lunenburg, Essex, King & Queen, Mathews, Northumberland, and Westmoreland).