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Las Vegas named top destination for Thanksgiving travelers

AAA is predicting 55.4 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving, and Las Vegas is expected to be a top destination.

The association said in a news release Monday that this year’s Thanksgiving travel forecast is up 2.3 percent over last year, with 49.13 million expected to travel by car, 4.69 million by air and 1.55 million by other modes.

This year’s Thanksgiving forecast is also the third-highest since the association started tracking holiday travel in 2000, AAA said.

Las Vegas was listed as a top domestic travel desitnation for the holiday, along with other warm weather cities like Orlando, Florida; Honolulu; and Anaheim, California.

Wednesday, the first day of the five-day Thanksgiving travel weekend, is expected to be the busiest day to drive — particularly between 2 and 6 p.m.

Afternoons each day of the five-day weekend are the worst time to drive, AAA said. Instead, the association recommended drivers hit the road before 11 a.m. Wednesday and Friday, before 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and before noon on Saturday and Sunday.

“The day before Thanksgiving is notoriously one of the most congested days on our roadways. Travelers should be prepared for long delays, especially in and around major metros,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, in a news release. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help minimize holiday traffic frustrations. We advise drivers to use traffic apps, local DOT notifications, and 511 services for real-time updates.”

Cost of Thanksgiving travel

— Domestic fights are up 5 percent over last year, with the average price at $681.

— Domestic hotel stays this holiday are $598 on average, down 12 percent from last year.

— Rental car reservations are $590 on average, down 20 percent from 2022.

— Domestic cruises run $1,507 on average, down 12 percent from last year.

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