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Travelers Driving More for Thanksgiving Due to Air Travel Concerns

A new survey of Thanksgiving travel habits found that more people are driving than flying during the holiday travel period.

According to a study from, frustration with weather delays, skyrocketing ticket prices and schedule disruptions associated with commercial airline travel have influenced Americans’ Thanksgiving travel plans.


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Around 50 percent of respondents who have flown in the last six months said they’ve experienced some level of disruption, and 63 percent said those experiences changed how they would travel during the holiday.

Of the 61 percent of Americans who plan to travel, 80 percent are choosing to drive to their destination and many are sticking within 50 miles of home.

With more flexibility and appreciation for family time, 41 percent of travelers will leave for their destinations by the weekend preceding the holiday and 28 percent will hit the road on Thanksgiving Day.

“Personal vehicles endure as the preferred mode of transportation for Americans, with 80 percent of Thanksgiving travelers opting to drive this year,” editor-in-chief Jenni Newman said. “Increased flexibility in the workplace coupled with the costs and inconveniences of air travel means the holiday road trip has never looked better.”

The southern United States is the most popular 2022 Thanksgiving travel destination at 27 percent, while another 16 percent are heading to the Mid-Atlantic. In addition, most travelers will be setting out in the morning hours, before noon, though Thanksgiving Day will experience a small peak of late-day travelers.

Earlier this week, Allianz Partners released its Top 10 Thanksgiving Rental Car Report, which found that the top five rental car locations this upcoming holiday season are Orlando, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Miami.

Rounding out the top 10 was Dallas, New York City, Kahului, Chicago and Denver, respectively.

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