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More Californians Traveling This Thanksgiving

Neil Kremer / Flickr

Neil Kremer / Flickr

Thanksgiving travel is projected to be the highest it's been in nearly a decade.

More than 5.8 million Californians are predicted to travel 50 miles or more over the Thanksgiving holiday, an increase of 3.1 percent from last year.

"This is an upward trend that has continued since the year 2007," says Cynthia Harris with AAA of Northern California. "So this is a record number of travelers in the past nine years."

Harris says 5 million Californians will be driving. That's up 3.4 percent from from a year ago.

"Gas prices contributes," says Harris. "But it's mostly consumer confidence in the economy and an ability to pay your bills and to actually pay for a vacation without getting into debt."

Sacramento area gas prices fell by another nickel in the past week. The average price for a gallon is now $2.50. Tracking service Gas Buddy says last year at this time we were paying $2.56. And in the past month, prices have dropped by 13 cents.

Meanwhile, California airports will likely see more passenger traffic this Thanksgiving, the busiest travel weekend of the year. AAA projects 626,000 Californians will be flying over the holiday. That's up 1.6 percent from a year ago. And if you're flying, you can expect to pay a lot more. Harris says airfares will increase by 21 percent.

"That is very typical over this time of the year," says Harris. "An average round trip ticket across the United States' 40 domestic flight routes are going to average $205 round trip. That doesn't mean that you can't get a lower fare or it's going to be higher. It just depends where you're going."

Meanwhile, 192,000 will be taking a train, boat or other mode of transportation, up slightly from a year ago.

Hotel rates are expected to stay relatively flat, with an average price of $155 a night.

Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the Morning Edition anchor for Capital Public Radio. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music.  Read Full Bio 

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