Thanksgiving travel is busier and more expensive than last year

According to AAA Idaho more than 54 million Americans will be traveling this Thanksgiving holiday.
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 9:17 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and it is going to be one of the busier and more expensive ones in recent memory for travelers

According to AAA Idaho more than 54 million Americans will be traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, including more than 300,000 Idahoans, an increase of 1.5% from a year ago. More people are traveling this holiday, despite gas prices in the Gem State being roughly 50 cents higher than a year ago.

“I think as far as this year’s travel projections go, people saved during the pandemic, people really cut back on their spending and built up a nest egg, which they are prepared to invest in this year,” said AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.

For people who have saved up the gas money, a popular local destination for Idahoans might be Sun Valley ski resort, which kicks off its 87th season on Thanksgiving Day. The resort plans to have more terrain open for the first day of the season than past years.

“We have started to make it an event in the last couple of years”, said Sun Valley Resort Director of Marketing & PR Bridget Higgins. “This year in particular we are going to have four chair lifts coming out of River Run going to the top. We will know more as the week progresses how many runs will be open, but it’s looking like we are going to have more runs than in the recent past.”

Desert Sun Travel owner Ellen Drown said travelers generally book their Thanksgiving travel plans five to six months in advance to take advantage of the lower air fares. She said holiday travel in general is costing some $400 to $500 more than in the past.

“It’s all of it. The flight and hotels. Everything. Car rentals too,” said Drown. “A lot of them will book them in the Summer.”

Additionally, she said one thing that is popular this year is cruises, which some people are booking for the Christmas Holiday.

“Because the cruises have relaxed their restrictions for Covid, and some of the tour companies have relaxed their restrictions for Covid. where they don’t have to have the Covid vaccination to be on those so people are now coming back to those tours and cruises

The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and on Wednesday at Magic Valley Regional Airport Don and Jean Chisholm were preparing to catch a flight to see their daughter and family in California. They, like many other travelers, were not concerned about the cost of traveling. They just wanted to be around family for the holiday.

“It’s everything. For many years he (son Brooks) was in Africa, or China

for Thanksgiving so we didn’t get to be with him, so this means a lot to us,” said Laura Perry who picked up her son Brooks up at the Magic Valley Airport with her husband Sid.