CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Thanksgiving travel costs up are up an average of 8% over last year at some hotels.

Next week AAA is planning to release their annual numbers predicting how busy the roads and the sky will be this holiday season. They’re considering factors like how much gas prices have gone up, as well as overall air fare costs. Numbers could be similar to last year, but Covid is not what’s impacting travel, it’s inflation.

“Leave a couple days earlier, spend a couple extra days at your destination, maybe leave a day or two after everyone else has headed back home. You’re going to find lower costs, there’s going to be less traffic and congestion and you’re going to have a smoother experience,” said Mark Schieldrop AAA spokesperson explained.

AAA Northeast is reminding travelers to plan ahead if traveling during the week of Thanksgiving. A list was compiled by AAA with the top destinations that are being booked based on flights, hotels, and rental cars.

“Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family and friends, so it’s no surprise that theme park destinations top the list, with entertainment and meals accessible within a resort,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “Chicago and Charlotte join Atlanta as hub cities for the three largest airlines, American, Delta, and United, and will see lots of activity this holiday season as airline routes and direct flights are limited and staff shortage still exists.”

“Since travel restrictions have lifted, we are seeing more of a shift from rural destinations back to urban cities, like New York,” Maguire added. “Consumer confidence has improved, and travelers want the excitement and accessibility of big cities, as well as more hotel options and greater inventory, which can sometimes mean better pricing.”

Top Destinations for Thanksgiving

  1. Orlando, FL
  2. Anaheim, CA
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. New York, NY
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. Phoenix, AZ
  7. Dalla/Fort Worth, TX
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Chicago, IL
  10. Charlotte, NC

AAA Northeast is reminding travelers to plan ahead for a busy holiday week. Availability in flights, hotels, and, car rentals are filling up.