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Cars.com finds 84% of travelers will drive this Thanksgiving holiday

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More than half of Americans plan to travel this Thanksgiving holiday, up 46% from 2020; 62% of drivers cite the ongoing pandemic as the primary reason for driving.

CHICAGO — The era of remote work will allow many Americans to spend more time with family this Thanksgiving weekend. With increased flexibility, 65% of remote or hybrid workers will drive over flying to their destinations this holiday and are staying longer than usual, according to a national survey by Cars.com, a leading car shopping marketplace. Overall, 57% of Americans plan to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, with 84% choosing to drive. In fact, of those planning to drive, 1 in 4 say they originally booked a flight but canceled due to factors beyond their control, such as rising rental car prices and flight disruptions.1

With more companies turning to permanent remote or hybrid schedules for American workers coupled with ongoing pandemic concerns, holiday travel decisions are shifting and providing a more compelling reason to drive personal vehicles over other forms of transportation,” said Mike Hanley, Cars.com senior editor. “For many, the lower costs, increased flexibility and added convenience are enough to tip the scale in favor of road trips this holiday season.”

Additional insights revealed by Cars.com’s survey on Thanksgiving travel include:

  • More flexibility, more distance traveled. With more time to travel and a willingness to venture farther from home, more than half of respondents (58%) plan to travel farther this year for Thanksgiving than they did last year. The most popular region for travel is the South (36%).
  • Thanksgiving rush hour peaks the weekend before. With the ability to work away from the office now an option for many Americans, nearly half of respondents (48%) plan to leave the weekend prior to Thanksgiving (Friday through Sunday).
  • Precious cargo also plays a role for drivers. For drivers with children, 65% say they plan to road-trip due to increased convenience that personal transportation provides, such as with car seats. Nearly 80% of respondents are pet owners and 39% of them will bring their pets along. Another 18% of pet owners said they typically fly but are now driving in order to bring along their animal companions.

1  Cars.com’s survey results Nov. 1, 2021; 1,010 responses

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