WASHINGTON — More than 48 million people are expected to hit the road this holiday season. Unfortunately, the additional cars won't be the only added headache this Thanksgiving holiday.
Lida Amani, who owns Lida Travel Inc, said it will likely cost you more to travel this year.
"With the price of gasoline going up or a shipment not arriving into the United States and the expenses of that or the borders being closed, the price of rental cars has jacked up significantly," said Amani.
Amani started her company 25 years ago and said the last two years have been challenging during the pandemic.
Now travelers face soaring costs of gas and rental cars impacting what is expected to be a busy holiday travel season on the roads.
The travel website KAYAK said the average rental car price is up 66% from last year. The price is up more than 75% from before the pandemic started.
"It’s not surprising because the overall price of purchasing cars have also gone up. When I’m booking flights and I’m booking rental cars, I see that. A significant increase," Amani said.
Unfortunately taking your own car is not a much better option.
The national average cost for a gallon of gas is up to $3.41 a gallon. That is up $1.29 from this time a year ago.
"Most people are waiting for the price to go down in the spring hopefully but who knows what 2022 will bring, hopefully it will be COVID-free," said Amani.
AAA predicts 53.4 million people to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from 2020.
This brings travel volumes within 5% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, with air travel almost completely recovering from its dramatic fall during the pandemic, up 80% over last year.
As restrictions continue to lift and consumer confidence builds, AAA urges travelers to be proactive when making their travel plans this holiday season.
“This Thanksgiving, travel will look a lot different than last year. Now that the borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with their loved ones for the holiday," Paula Twidale, the senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a news release.
"It’s affecting driving, flying, but one good thing is that the number of flights are increasing which is good because remember at one point all the inbound and outbound flights were were very restrictive and limited," said Amani.