Airports and roads may seem jam-packed this year as AAA New Mexico predicts 53.4 million people to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from 2020. This brings travel volumes within 5% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, with air travel almost completely recovering from its dramatic fall during the pandemic, up 80% over last year. As restrictions continue to lift and consumer confidence builds, AAA urges travelers to be proactive when making their travel plans this holiday season.
With 6.4 million more people traveling across the U.S. this Thanksgiving coupled with the recent opening of the U.S. borders to fully vaccinated international travelers—people should prepare for roads and airports to be noticeably more crowded.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its recommendations for holiday gatherings and related travel, saying that the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible. However, everyone’s situation is unique and therefore, AAA urges anyone considering gathering or traveling for Thanksgiving to consult CDC guidance before finalizing holiday plans.
This year’s forecast marks the highest single-year increase in Thanksgiving travelers since 2005, bringing travel volumes close to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Whether you plan to do so by car or plane, it’s important to know how to navigate the new travel landscape to avoid unnecessary stress and challenges on the way to your Thanksgiving destination.
Some tips on how to navigate your travel plans this year:
Be Proactive. Book flights, car rentals, accommodations and other activities as early as possible.
Be Patient. The roads and airports will be busy so plan ahead.
Be Prepared. For the 3.6 million Mountain Region residents hitting the road, make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the trip ahead as AAA expects to respond to nearly 1,200 calls along New Mexico roadways for help over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Be Protected—Both You and Your Trip. If you plan to travel during the holidays, it’s essential to do so safely and understand how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your investment while traveling. Also, as travel restrictions remain in flux, it’s essential to know requirements and recommendations based on your vaccination status, where you’re traveling from and where you’re traveling to.
To get more detailed information or if you need help planning your trip for the holidays, visit AAA.com/Travel.