Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

1.4M Thanksgiving travelers expected to fill Virginia highways

1.4M Thanksgiving travelers expected to fill Virginia highways

More than a million Marylanders are expected to travel during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Just under 4 million US travelers will fly this year, an increase of almost 5 percent and the largest number since 2007. It almost matches the nationwide jump of those leaving home for the holiday.

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

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The 1.07 million Marylanders expected to travel between Wednesday and Sunday of the holiday weekend represents a 3.4 percent increase, the auto club said.

Holiday travel is expected to rise 3.3 percent from 2016 numbers, an increase of 1.6 million travelers, AAA said. Air travel is expected to increase about 6 percent, with over 128,000 Michiganders flying to their holiday destinations. That despite gas prices which are 60 to 70 cents per gallon higher this year than last. The majority of traveling Floridians are expected to take to the highways, despite gasoline prices that are expected to be the highest since 2014, AAA said.

Past year heading into Thanksgiving weekend, Wisconsin averaged $2.03 for a gallon of gas. It was higher at $2.56 a gallon a month ago, but lower at $2.18 a gallon past year at Thanksgiving.

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"Thanksgiving kicks off the start of what will likely become the busiest holiday season in more than a decade", said Vicky Evans, AAA's Assistant Vice President of Travel Sales Development. Already long travel times could quadruple, according to AAA. "However, this year flying for the holiday is not as expensive as other years with average airfares the lowest in five years". At $157, on average, that is a 23 percent fare drop year-over-year. "These factors should help fuel consumer spending and generate a strong finish for the travel industry this year".

Orlando is the No. 1 Thanksgiving destination, followed by Anaheim, California, New York City, Honolulu and Las Vegas.

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