Did You Know?
- The number of long-distance trips increase by about 54% during the Thanksgiving travel period.
- 90% of Thanksgiving travelers use automobiles to reach their holiday destination. Air travel accounts for about 7.8%.
- The US transportation sector accounts for approximately 29% of total US greenhouse gas emissions.
AAA predicts that nearly 53.4 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving this year, the highest single-year increase since 2005. Long-distance travel (50 miles or more) in the United States is most frequent during the week of Thanksgiving, with most travelers using personal vehicles as their main mode of transportation.
Tips for Environmentally Friendly Travel This Holiday Season
If you're planning on hitting the road for the holidays, use these simple tips to help reduce your impact on the environment:
- Avoid aggressive driving. Aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking can lower your highway gas mileage by up to 40%.
- Avoid high speeds. Every 5 mph above 50 mph is like paying an extra $0.24 per gallon of gasoline.
- Pack light. An extra 100 pounds in your car could reduce your MPG by about 1%.
- Place items inside the car, rather than on the roof. Traveling with your luggage inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks can increase your fuel economy by up to 25%.
- Avoid excessive idling. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes about 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle.
- Check tire pressure. Inflate your tires to the pressure recommended in your owner's manual to improve gas mileage by up to 3%.
- Use cruise control. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
As you travel around the country this holiday season, find out what animals are also on the move through NEEF's Animal Migration Activity Guide, with fun at-home activities perfect for young learners.
Looking for more practical information on the environment? Sign up for the NEEF Connect online newsletter!
- AAA. 2021. "Buckle Up: Thanksgiving Travel to Rebound Almost to Pre-Pandemic Levels". Accessed November 19, 2021. https://newsroom.aaa.com/2021/11/buckle-up-aaa-predicts-thanksgiving-travel-to-rebound-almost-to-pre-pandemic-levels/
- AAA. 2018. "More Than 54 Million Americans to Travel this Thanksgiving, the Most Since 2005". Accessed November 20, 2018. https://newsroom.aaa.com/2018/11/thanksgiving-travel-forecast-2018/
- AAA. 2017. "Nearly 51 Million Americans to Travel This Thanksgiving, Highest Volume in a Dozen Years". Accessed November 20. http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/11/nearly-51-million-americans-travel-thanksgiving-highest-volume-dozen-years/
- USDOE. 2021. "Driving More Efficiently". Accessed November 19, 2021. https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.jsp
- USDOE. 2014. “Energy Saver: Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home.” Accessed November 20, 2018. http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/09/f18/61628_BK_EERE-EnergySavers_w150.pdf
- USDOE. 2021. “Keeping Your Vehicle in Shape.” Accessed November 20, 2018. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.jsp