AAA predicting increase in holiday travel

Published On: Nov 21 2012 05:20:16 AM EST
Updated On: Nov 21 2012 06:59:55 AM EST

AAA reports that 50 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more this holiday season.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

AAA is predicting an increase in the number of people traveling by road this holiday season, and the busiest days are Wednesday and Sunday.    

If you're getting ready to hit the road or catch a flight for Thanksgiving, you better pack your patience with you.  Long lines are also expected at the airport.

The mad rush for Thanksgiving travel begins right now, with nearly 44 million Americans departing to see family on Wednesday.

"Everyone seems to be in a better mood on the holidays compared to another time," airline passenger Jason Dukes said.  
Dukes doesn't mind the lines at the airport, knowing the prize is just one day away.

"All the food and not having to cook it by myself," Dukes said.

"I think Thanksgiving is the best time of the year to travel," traveler Kat Kerr said. "It's about family and being together again. Old times and new memories. I love thanksgiving."

AAA is predicting a decrease in the number of passengers flying, but on the roads, it's a different story.

Cheaper gas prices are encouraging Americans to travel more than 50 miles, gas averaging $3.32 per gallon.

"The best way to enjoy $3 gas is to pay $4 for a while and then $3 looks great," traveler Steven Collins said.
 
Even though road and air travel is slightly up compared to last year, it's doesn't compare to where we were before the recession.

The number of travelers is still 26 percent below the peak in 2005 and 14 percent below the peak in 2007.  

What's unknown though, is how many people are staying home, due to the uncertainty on the East Coast following Hurricane Sandy.

"I was going to New York," Parrish Montague said. "Sandy messed up a lot of stuff. I'll stay down here."

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