ATLANTA, Nov. 14, 2012 — More people are expected to travel this Thanksgiving than last year, and driving appears to be a more popular method of transportation, AAA is predicting.
Interesting tidbits from AAA’s findings:
— 90 percent are planning to drive this Thanksgiving season
— People aren’t traveling as far: The average trip will be 588 miles, a decline of 16.7 percent from last year’s average of 706 miles
— Gas prices will decrease slightly, falling to between $3.25-3.40 per gallon — in line with the average of $3.32 per gallon a year ago
— Spending is expected to drop 10 percent — from $554 a year ago to $498 this year
— Wednesday will be the busiest day for travel
“Thanksgiving travel hit a decade low in 2008 when only 37.8 million Americans traveled,” AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet said in a release. “Since that year we have seen a steady increase in the number of travelers taking to the roads and skies for the holiday. Americans continue to find ways to economize their budgets so they can gather around the holiday table to carve the turkey.”
For anyone driving this Thanksgiving, here are five tips to make a road trip more interesting (should there be a few minutes to step out from behind the wheel):
— When it comes time to eat, pull off the road and try a local establishment: There is good food everywhere waiting to be discovered
— As a break from driving, find a fun monument or roadside oddity to explore; sometimes these stops just make you laugh for days, weeks, months or a lifetime
— Consider taking a scenic route instead of the interstate: It may take a little longer, but quite often back roads make for a better travel experience
— Scout out museums along the way in advance of hitting the road and build in time to explore one along the way: It could be a big city art museum or a small town history museum
— Drive safe: None of the above matters if you don’t buckle up and stay alert
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