Americans hit the road for Thanksgiving

by William ASTON on November 24, 2011

The US is will mark its annual Thanksgiving holiday today, with more Americans hitting the road than in recent years.

It is estimated that 43m people will travel both before and after Thanksgiving, the highest amount since 2007. Yesterday, poor weather across the East Coast caused travel delays that were already widely expected. Tomorrow, eager shoppers will form battle lines before stores open their doors for Thanksgiving sales.

Known as the annual Black Friday extravaganza, retailers often open around 03:00 or 04:00. In 2011, for the first time in recent history, the rush has hit Thanksgiving Day too as roughly 1,000 Gap stores are going to be open with several large retailers, such as Target and Macy’s, opening at midnight.

Despite a projected increase in traveller numbers, two per cent fewer people will travel by air compared with 2010, as alleged by the Air Transport Association of America. Sky high fuel costs and expensive flight tickets have forced a change of travel plans for many, but this hasn’t deterred them from making long cross-state or country trips to see their loved ones on what is a national holiday for all Americans.

Shaun Tucker, from Chicago, spoke to the press and told them that he wished to head home to his relatives in Memphis, Tennessee but that $300 for a return flight was out of his budget. Alternatively, he will travel nine-hours on a coach at the mere cost of $49.

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