Thanksgiving by the Numbers

PHOTO: The "Spiderman" float is seen during the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade in Times Square in New York, Nov. 24, 2011.
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With just two days left until Turkey Day, families across the U.S. are either preparing food or travel plans or both. And the numbers don't lie.

The AAA predicts that Wednesday will be the busiest travel day of the year, with 43.4 million Americans planning to hit the road.

"For those traveling, the good news is motorists will receive a holiday bonus in the form of lower gas prices, which are at their lowest levels for the holiday since 2010," said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. The bad news is Mother Nature could still get in their way.

Thanksgiving Storm Moves East, Could Snarl Holiday Travel for Millions

Airlines for America, an airline industry group, forecast that 2.42 million Americans were expected to fly on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

The five busiest airports for Thanksgiving 2013, according to the Orbitz Insider Index, are Los Angeles International (LAX), Chicago-O'Hare International (ORD), Boston Logan International (BOS), San Francisco International (SFO) and New York LaGuardia (LGA). Those same airports could also become the most clogged should extreme weather conditions cause flight cancellations.

"It's clear Americans are hungry for the holiday," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor, whose annual Thanksgiving travel survey revealed that "44 percent of those traveling for Thanksgiving plan to stay at the home of family or friends, 34 percent will hunker down in a hotel and 8 percent will rest in a vacation rental."

And the cost of all that lodging, airfare and gas adds up. According to Hotwire.com's American Travel Behavior Survey, Americans spend $14 billion in obligatory holiday travel for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and Weather Forecast for Your Region

"The holidays are always a special time of the year, but with this month's added bonus of two major holidays falling on the same day, there's even more to celebrate," said Marilyn Oliveira, editorial director for Evite, referring to the rare collision of Thanksgiving with Hanukkah, known as Thanksgivukkah.

That trend is certainly evident on Yahoo, where searches for "beef brisket recipe" are up 210 percent, a Yahoo spokesperson told ABC News.

Other popular Yahoo searches are "Martha Stewart recipes" (up 8186 percent), "Pillsbury recipes" (up 1278 percent), "Trisha Yearwood recipes" (up 1,244 percent), "ABC the Chew recipes" (up 1,116 percent) and "Cooking Light recipes" (up 856 percent).

But not everyone will be indulging in a home-cooked meal.

Yahoo searches this month for "Boston Market Thanksgiving" and "Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving 2013" are "spiking off the charts," she said.

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