Nearly 1.4 Million New Jersey Residents to Travel for Thanksgiving; Highest Travel Volume for the Holiday Since 2005

T is not just for turkey this Thanksgiving, it’s also for travel, in a very big way.

AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates nearly 1.4 million New Jersey residents will travel 50 miles or more away from home for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a 2.7 percent increase over 2018 and the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 27 to Sunday, December 1.

“This Thanksgiving we will see the most Americans carving time out to visit family and friends since 2005,” said Tracy E. Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “A strong economy and labor market are generating higher wages and more disposable income, enabling more confident consumers to spend on travel this holiday season. The increase in the number of travelers from the Philadelphia area taking to the roads, air and other modes of transport, mirrors the national trend.”

Nationally, AAA projects more than 55 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 2.9 percent increase over last year. The 2019 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005. AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday week could be as much as four times longer than the optimal trip.

Modes of Travel:


  • New Jersey—1,213,910 (89% of all travelers), an increase of 2.7% from 2018.
  • Nationally— 49.3 million people (89% of holiday travelers), up 2.8% from last year.


  • New Jersey— 124,593 (9% of all travelers), an increase of 4.6% from those who flew last year.
  • Nationally—4.4 million leisure travelers (8% of holiday travelers), up 4.6% from 2018.

Train, Bus, Watercraft or Multi-Modal Travel:

  • New Jersey— 28,882 (2.1% of all travelers), an increase of 0.6% from last year.
  • Nationally— 1.5 million travelers (2.6% of all travelers), up 1.4% from 2018.

Holiday Traffic Hotspots/Best and Worst Times to Hit the Road

Based on historical and recent travel trends for the holiday week, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts major delays throughout the week, peaking Wednesday with trips taking as much as four times longer as commuters mix with holiday travelers.

AAA suggests motorists travel during off-peak times – early morning and/or later in the evening.  Avoid afternoon and early evening travel the Wednesday before Thanksgiving; same for the Sunday after Thanksgiving.



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