Thanksgiving travel expected to be at highest level in 12 years

Record number of Americans forecast to travel over Thanksgiving weekend

Triple A has released their Thanksgiving Holiday Forecast for this year and they expect the number of travelers to increase from last year by 3.3 percent to an estimated 50 million.

AAA expects almost 51 million Americans to hit the road for Thanksgiving travel next week, the highest volume for Turkey Day travel in a dozen years. Americans on average are paying $2.56 at the pump, and Virginians have seen an average increase of 30 cent across the state from a year ago.

High gas prices are not expected to deter Americans from hitting the road this Thanksgiving.

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Springfield averages $2.54 a gallon, according to AAA. Fortunately, oil prices are beginning to soften, thanks to growth in crude production and inventories; and wholesale gas prices are slipping due to high gasoline production.

And auto rentals are averaging $70 per day, 34 percent above past year and the highest rate for a Thanksgiving weekend since 2013.

Nationally, AAA predicts that 50.9 million Americans will take a trip at least 50 miles away from home during next week's holiday, a 3.3 percent increase from 2016 and the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2005.

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"When consumer confidence is high, more people are willing to travel, even if it means taking on debt", says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. "And should help fuel consumer spending and generate a strong finish for the travel industry this year". It mirrors a 3.3 percent increase expected nationwide, to almost 51 million Americans.

In Florida, 190,720 are expected to take a flight, a 4.5 percent over previous year, AAA said.

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. In fact if you consider the two most popular destinations identified by AAA, Orlando and Anaheim, you would think that the fourth Thursday in November had been set aside to celebrate Walt Disney.

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