Local/State

AAA predicts increase in holiday travel

Friday, November 18, 2011

If you're planning on traveling this Thanksgiving, you won't be alone. AAA is predicting a significant increase in holiday travel this year.

"I don't think the economy's getting any better, but people want to see their families," said one traveler we talked to.

And that's right in line with what AAA found in this year's Thanksgiving travel projections, that despite economic uncertainty, more people in the Philadelphia area and throughout the country will choose family over frugality compared to last year.

The projected increase is the first in three years.

"There's a lot of pent up demand. The economy has been tough. People have put off those family trip; they want to visit their families, but economically it's been difficult, and so now we're seeing that pent up demand," said Jenny Robinson, AAA Mid-Atlantic.

AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates more than 468,000 travelers from the Philadelphia area will travel 50 miles or more; that's a 3.5% increase over last year, just slightly below the national increase of 4%.

Gas is still roughly 45% higher than Thanksgiving last year, but AAA points to the drop in prices in recent months is providing encouragement for some travelers.

"Although they're higher than last year, they're still fifty cents or so down than the peak from earlier in the year per gallon," said Jenny.

Whether it's the price of gas, the economy, or the turkey, some drivers vow to stay put this holiday.

This would be the first significant increase in holiday travel this year. AAA says there was a decline for Labor Day and Independence Day, and Memorial Day travel was statistically flat.

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Tags:
thanksgiving, travel, philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state, katherine scott
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