Carolinas could see record breaking travel this Thanksgiving

AAA Mid-Atlantic: More than 1 million Marylanders expected to travel for Thanksgiving

Nearly 4 million Texans will travel more than 50 miles to their destinations, an increase of 3 percent over a year ago.

The auto club earlier reported that gas prices in the Sarasota-Manatee region surged by 18 cents per gallon since last week and were averaging 41 cents higher than a year ago.

The largest share of travel, roughly 89 percent, will be on USA roads.

Are you traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday?

"A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season", Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, said.

"Most people have already made their travel plans, and will not cancel them for moderate shifts in gas prices", said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins in an email to WJCT News.

The auto club released its annual forecast on Thursday for people traveling 50 miles or more, saying that's up 3.5 percent from past year.

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

That is a three-percent increase from past year.

The forecast for increased travel comes despite higher gas prices.

People may be beating the long lines this weekend before the real travel rush kicks in Wednesday, which is the peak travel day for Thanksgiving, according to AAA. "Although it will be more expensive to drive to grandma's house compared to recent years, the current price at the pump is not high enough to deter Floridians from taking a trip". That's up more than three percent from 2016, and includes 650,000 Oregonians. It's also the highest price for gasoline in North Carolina since 2014, when the average was $2.73.

But some of the savings will be lost when renting a vehicle.

Thanksgiving travel has steadily rebounded from the post-recession low in 2008, AAA said.

Traffic converges on highway I-495 South just west of the nation's capital on one of the busiest travel days of the year November 23, 2011 in McLean, Virginia. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.

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