Traveling for Thanksgiving will cost more this year

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 5:18 PM CST
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(CNN) - Gas, rental cars and hotels are all more expensive just as more Americans get ready to travel to their Thanksgiving destinations.

Also, brace yourself for possible pre-pandemic holiday highway congestion.

“You’re gonna be sitting in that old-fashioned traffic again,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said.

With inflation, supply shortages and massive demand as more families gather in person, experts warn that traveling to your destination will cost you more patience and more money.

“As we’ve always discovered, no matter how much gasoline prices are, people are still going to take that trip. They’ll just budget along the way,” Gross said.

The national average of gas is $3.41 per gallon.

According to AAA, that is $1 higher than last holiday season.

If you are renting a car, recent data from the Department of Labor shows rental car prices increased 42% this year.

There is no relief if you are flying to your destination, either.

From staffing shortages to possible flight cancellations, airlines are expecting challenges during the busiest travel season of the year.

“We’re seeing a lot of scrambling by the airlines and it is going to continue heading into the holiday season,” Willis Orlando, senior product operations specialist at Scott’s Cheap Flights, said.

Hotel rates are also up.

According to AAA, mid-range hotel rates increased about 39%.

Experts say that while you may not be able to avoid the higher prices on your road trip, a bit of flexibility can save you a lot of time.

“Leave early. If you can leave Wednesday before noon, that’s great,” Gross said.

According to AAA, more than 53.4 million Americans are expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, that is up 13% compared to last year.

About 90% of those travelers are expected to drive.

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