Thanksgiving Holiday Plans Include International Visitors

International travelers are heading to the USA
Thanksgiving cheers
(Vax Before Travel)

Airports and roads may be jam-packed for the Thanksgiving holiday as AAA predicts about 53 million people will travel this year.

This forecast represents an increase of 13% from 2020.

With 6.4 million more people traveling this Thanksgiving coupled with the recent opening of the U.S. borders to fully vaccinated international travelers—people should prepare for airports to be noticeably more crowded.

As travel restrictions continue to lift and consumer confidence builds, AAA urges travelers to be proactive when making their plans this holiday season.

“This Thanksgiving, travel will look a lot different than last year,” said Paula Twidale, SVP, AAA Travel, in a press statement. 

“Now that international borders are open, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with their loved ones for a holiday.”

“International travel reopening will allow people to reconnect with friends and family and explore new places.”

“But it also means airports will be busier than we’ve seen, so travelers must plan for long lines and extra time for TSA security checks,” continued Twidale.

Even with air travel seeing a boost this year, AAA finds that the average lowest airfare is 27.3% less than last year, coming in at $132. Tuesday and Wednesday are still the most expensive and heaviest travel days, with Monday the lightest and least costly. 

Those wanting to book last-minute travel will find the best fares about two weeks before Thanksgiving but keep in mind availability may be limited.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its recommendations for holiday gatherings and related travel, saying that the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk is to get vaccinated.

However, everyone’s situation is unique, and therefore, AAA urges anyone considering gathering or traveling for Thanksgiving to consult CDC guidance before finalizing holiday plans.

AAA notes that the actual number of holiday travelers could fluctuate as we approach Thanksgiving. If there is an increase in reported COVID-19 cases, some people may decide to stay home. To get started and to learn more, visit

An expanded list of suggested travel vaccines is found on the Vax-Before-Travel webpage.  

Vax-Before-Travel publishes fact-checked research-based travel vaccine news.


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