Turkey Day travel will be a bit heav­ier

Turkey Day travel will be a bit heav­ier

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian McCullough bm­c­cul­lough@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @wc­dai­ly­lo­cal on Twit­ter

More peo­ple have hit the road for Thanks­giv­ing in each of the last eight years but over­all the num­bers are be­low pre-re­ces­sion lev­els

For the eighth year in a row, Thanks­giv­ing travel is ex­pected to tick up this year.

Still, it re­mains at a level slightly be­low its peak in 2007.

This year, 48.7 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are ex­pected to hit the roads, take to the skies and ride the rails to be with fam­ily, watch foot­ball and eat turkey.

That is 1 mil­lion more Thanks­giv­ing trav­el­ers than there were last year in Amer­ica but still be­low the pre-re­ces­sion level of 50 mil­lion.

“Ev­ery year it’s slightly re­bound­ing,” said Jana L. Tid­well, man­ager of public and govern­ment af­fairs for AAA Mid-At­lantic. “We should in the next cou­ple of years get back” to 2007 lev­els.

The auto club in­cludes those trav­el­ing more than 50 miles for their Thanks­giv­ing Day vis­its in its count. AAA Mid-At­lantic es­ti­mates more than half a mil­lion, or 569,000, Philadel­phia–area res­i­dents will travel over the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day week­end. Eighty-nine per­cent of those trav­el­ers will get to their hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions by car and will likely en­joy the low­est gas prices since 2008.

“Most Philadel­phia-area res­i­dents will take a tried and true hol­i­day road trip, thanks to gas prices that are hold­ing just un­der $2.40 per gal­lon,” Tid­well said.

The Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day travel pe­riod is de­fined as Wed­nes­day, Nov. 23, to Sun­day, Nov. 27.

Ac­cord­ing to AAA, 89 per­cent of trav­el­ers from the Philadel­phia five-county area will travel by car while 8.6 per­cent will go by air.

Some quick facts com­piled by AAA:

• Auto travel will grow for the eighth con­sec­u­tive year.

• The busiest time to leave for a hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion by car is the Tues­day be­fore Thanks­giv­ing. The Wed­nes­day be­fore Thanks­giv­ing is the most crowded if you’re fly­ing.

“Most Philadel­phia-area res­i­dents will take a tried and true hol­i­day road trip, thanks to gas prices that are hold­ing just un­der $2.40 per gal­lon.” — Jana L. Tid­well, man­ager of public and govern­ment af­fairs for AAA Mid-At­lantic

• Air travel will grow na­tion­ally for the fifth con­sec­u­tive year. But the Philadel­phia five-county area will see air travel re­main rel­a­tively flat – up 0.8 per­cent – with just over 49,000 air trav­el­ers.

• Thanks­giv­ing travel is spurred by im­prove­ments in the econ­omy dur­ing the sec­ond half of the year, in­clud­ing ris­ing wages, in­creased con­sumer spend­ing and over­all

strength in con­sumer con­fi­dence.

• De­spite re­cent in­cre­men­tal

in­creases in the na­tional av­er­age price of gaso­line, AAA es­ti­mates U.S. driv­ers have saved more than $28 bil­lion so far at the pumps this year com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

• Travel by other modes of trans­porta­tion, in­clud­ing cruises, trains and buses, will in­crease only slightly this Thanks­giv­ing, to 1.44 mil­lion trav­el­ers na­tion­ally.

• The most pop­u­lar air des­ti­na­tions this Thanks­giv­ing, based on AAA.com book­ings, are: Las Ve­gas, San Francisco, San Diego, Or­lando, New York City, New Or­leans, Ana­heim, Fort Lauderdale, Philadel­phia and Seat­tle.

Ac­cord­ing to INRIX, a com­pany that pro­vides on­line data on travel:

• Driv­ers headed to ma­jor air­ports can ex­pect more than a 20 minute de­lay over free-flow drive times.

• Air­port off-site park­ing could save trav­el­ers as much as 75 per­cent com­pared to on­site park­ing.

• Shop­pers headed to Amer­ica’s busiest malls could see ex­pe­ri­ence al­most 90 per­cent longer travel times.

• Shop­pers trav­el­ing to The King of Prus­sia Mall should ex­pect noon to 6 p.m. to be the most con­gested travel time on Black Fri­day.

Shop­pers trav­el­ing to The King of Prus­sia Mall should ex­pect noon to 6 p.m. to be the most con­gested travel time on Black Fri­day.

GRAPHIC BY AAA

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mo­torists are seen trav­el­ing on a high­way.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Trav­el­ers line up at a se­cu­rity check­point area in Ter­mi­nal 3 at O’Hare In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Chicago.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pas­sen­gers wait to board a train in New York’s Penn Sta­tion.

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