As America ushers in a time of giving thanks, grocery stores team with busy shoppers, turkey fryers make their way out of storage and football fanatics talk of the games to be played on Thursday, many Americans are dusting off their suitcases and loading up their cars. Some are headed to the airports, while others will hit the roads as the nation expects the busiest Thanksgiving travel weekend in more than a decade.
“Thanksgiving kicks off the start of a busy holiday season, and more thankful Americans will travel to spend time with friends and family this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season.”
AAA projects “50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6M more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year.” Estimated travel times will be as much as three times longer than normal in congested cities with 89 percent of this season’s travelers making a road trip.
While airfare prices are the cheapest since 2013, prices at the pump are not following suit. Holiday travelers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gasoline prices since 2014, adding to the cost of going to Grandma’s for some turkey and stuffing. At a national average of $2.54/gallon, it will cost $.37/gallon more to fill up than this time last year.
As the number of vacationers increases year after year and gasoline prices tick upward, one may wonder what the future will look like when today’s children are grown and traveling with their own families. And therein lies another reason to give thanks.
With automotive mandates for a zero-emission future rapidly spreading across the globe, future holiday seasons may look very different than what we see today. Lines and prices at the pump will be less of a consideration, as automobiles will be fueled by electricity and hydrogen. “Filling up” on the trek across states will be less frequent, especially with an estimated 600+ mile range vehicle such as on a RONN Motor Group, Inc. platform.
To add one more celebration to the festivities, traveling in the near future will result in fewer emissions and zero-emissions as heat and water are the only byproducts of an all electric-hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. Imagine arriving at your destination, family in tow, ready to take on the festivities with nary a thought of gasoline prices or pollution. Instead one will be able to focus on Uncle Bob’s crazy ramblings and Aunt Jane’s pumpkin pie before gratefully heading back home in zero-emission style.