More Americans are planning to travel this Thanksgiving than last, according to a recent Cars.com survey, and the vast majority of survey respondents plan on driving to their destination. However, rising gas prices and coronavirus concerns are impacting travel plans.
More than half of respondents (57%) said they plan to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving. That’s a 46% increase versus 2021, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans not to travel or gather for the holiday amid the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 6 in 10 of those traveling this year are going farther than usual, with 34% journeying more than 100 miles.
Most survey respondents (84%) who are traveling for Thanksgiving said they’ll be driving. Even so, gas prices, which have been rising for the past year, are factoring into respondents’ travel decisions: Among those surveyed, 50% said gas prices have some impact on their travel plans, and 12% said they won’t drive if gas prices get any higher.
Traveling with young children brings its own set of challenges. Of the 36% of survey respondents who said they have kids in car seats, nearly two-thirds said it played a role in their decision to drive.
The pandemic is also still influencing Thanksgiving travel plans this year. Among respondents not traveling, 24% cited it as a reason they’re staying home, second only to those who said they don’t normally travel for Thanksgiving (49%). Additionally, 21% of survey takers said they’re not traveling this year because they can’t afford it.
For those who are traveling for Thanksgiving, 70% plan on visiting family at a relative’s home, and 36% are headed to the southeastern United States. The next most popular region is the Mid-Atlantic with 17% of respondents headed there.
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About This Survey
Cars.com’s Thanksgiving travel survey was fielded Nov. 1 and received 1,010 responses. Survey respondents identified as 40% male and 60% female, and ranged in ages from 18-34 (33%), 35-54 (49%) and 55-plus (18%).