AAA Says Thanksgiving Travel To Rise For 8th Consecutive Year

The auto club says 1-million Marylanders are expected to travel.

Towson, Md (KM)  If you’re heading out on the highways this Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend, you can expect a lot of company. AAA Mid-Atlantic says over 1-million Marylanders will be traveling 50-miles or more from home between November 23rd and 27th, mostly by car.

AAA spokeswoman Christine Delise says this represents a 3% increase and the highest travel volume in over 10 years. She also says this is usually the  time when whole families take to the highways. “Everyone loads up into the car. They even bring the family pet to visit family, relatives. So this really is a driving holiday,” Delise says.

Nationally, AAA projects 48.7-million Americans will be taking a journey of 50-miles or more from home during the holiday period, which is 1.9% increase compared to last year, and the most since 2007.

Delise says many people are confident in the course of the economy . “We’re seeing it in Maryland, we’re seeing it nationwide, that many more consumers are just expecting to open their wallets,” she says. “We’re seeing rising wages, increased consumer spending, and this overall strength in consumer confidence.”

She also says the price of gasoline is the second cheapest in nearly a decade. ““We’re starting to see the state average heading in a downward direction,” says Delise. “Right now, Maryland’s average is at $2.19 per gallon. That’s seven-cents a gallon lower than last month, but we’re still a little bit slightly higher than last year’s average.”

AAA says 89% of Americans will be traveling by car; 8% will travel by air, and 3% will head out by train, bus or watercraft.

If you are planning to head out by car, AAA recommends you have a mechanic go over your car to make sure it’s ready for that  long trip. “You want to check your  oil, all your engine fluids, your tire treads,” says Delise. “Make sure you have the proper air pressure because no one wants to spend part of their holiday stranded on the side of the road.”

By Kevin McManus