2.6 million Floridians to travel during Thanksgiving holiday, AAA says

Statewide, 6.26 million are projected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, also a 3.6 percent increase from past year and the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2007, when 6.44 million Californians took a holiday trip.

This travel is expected to begin just as Thanksgiving travel ends.

"Thanksgiving kicks off the start of a busy holiday season, and more thankful Americans will travel to spend time with friends and family this year", said Sandra Marsian, AAA vice president of membership, travel and marketing, in a press release.

AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the US during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip.

Nearly 86 percent of local travelers - 3.3 million - will be going by vehicle to their destinations, a 3.5 percent increase from last year's 3.2 million auto travelers.

On Thursday, the average price for regular stood at $2.52 per gallon statewide, up from $2.14 a year ago. The numbers have been increasing every year since.

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 26.

The AAA poll says a strong economy and high consumer confidence are contributing to the desire to travel, or at least provide the finances.

In Virginia, more than 1,270,000 are expected to travel by automobile, 103,000 will travel by plane and 30,000 will be using other modes of transportation.

California gas prices have skyrocketed in the last two weeks to their highest levels in more than two years and are likely to remain above $3.20 on average in most areas throughout the holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving travelers who fly this holiday are expected to pay the lowest fares in five years for round-trip tickets on the top 40 domestic routes.


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