WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Fewer people will travel across the United States for the Thanksgiving holiday this year.

According to a report released Wednesday by the American Automobile Association (AAA), this will be the first time in five years for the decline in Thanksgiving holiday travel with only 43.4 million people traveling.

In 2012, roughly 44 million people traveled for the holiday making it a slight 1.5 percent decrease this year.  However, the average distance journeyed by travelers will increase from 588 miles in 2012 to 601 miles for this year.

“While the economy continues to improve, the sluggish pace of the recovery is creating uncertainty in the minds of some consumers and therefore AAA is projecting a slight decline in the number of Thanksgiving travelers this year,” AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney stated in a press release.

It’s expected that 38.9 million people will travel by car this year declining from the number in 2012.

“For those traveling the good news is motorists will receive a holiday bonus in the form of lower gas prices which are at their lowest levels for the holiday since 2010.”

Also, air travel is predicted to decline with 3.14 million people traveling by air compared to the 3.26 million who did last year.

In 2012, Americans spent $498 traveling per household during the Thanksgiving holiday period, while this year it’s predicted that $465 will only be spent.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 27,  is expected to be the busiest traveling day with roughly 37 percent of travelers departing to reach their destinations.


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