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Thanksgiving 2022: Americans paying top-dollar for holiday travel

Posted at 9:24 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 23:24:28-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Holiday travel this year is expected to reach pre-pandemic numbers.

AAA Travel anticipates that nearly 55 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving — a 1.5% increase from 2021 and nearly 98% of pre-pandemic volumes.

While the high travel numbers are anticipated, travelers are being met with significant expenses.

“They chose the time of day based on cost,” said Adam Johnson, who was flying from Salt Lake City to Illinois on Tuesday night. “I think the other times of day were a lot higher.”

“The cost of our tickets were about $600 a piece,” said Elaine Tottenbeal, who was flying from Salt Lake City to Texas.

According to Hopper, a travel app and travel research company, domestic flights are averaging roughly $398 round-trip. Out of SLC, the average is slightly higher at $430 round-trip. International flights are averaging more than $1,000 round-trip. Rental cars are costing roughly $62 per day, and hotels are priced at $173 per night on average.

Gas prices are trending downward but are still higher than a year ago, according to AAA Travel.

“This is looking like the most expensive thanksgiving holiday in terms of gas in more than 20 years,” said Julian Paredes, a spokesperson for AAA Travel.

As of Tuesday, AAA reported a gallon of regular gasoline is roughly $3.66 as a nationwide average. In Utah, gas is roughly $3.97 per gallon.