The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - — Bloomberg News

Higher wages and more dis­pos­able in­come trump more ex­pen­sive gas prices to mo­ti­vate the most Amer­i­cans to travel for Thanks­giv­ing since 2005.

About 54.3 mil­lion Amer­i­cans will travel 50 or more miles away from home this Thanks­giv­ing, an in­crease of 4.8 per­cent com­pared with last year, ac­cord­ing to data from AAA, the largest U.S. mo­tor­ing group. About 48.5 mil­lion trav­el­ers will drive, nearly 5 per­cent more than a year ago. Air travel will see a 5.4 per­cent in­crease.

“Mo­torists have be­come ac­cus­tomed to this year’s more ex­pen­sive gas prices and won’t let higher fuel costs de­ter them from tak­ing Thanks­giv­ing road trips,” said AAA gas price ex­pert Jeanette Cas­se­lano.

Reg­u­lar un­leaded gaso­line av­er­aged $2.73 a gal­lon Wed­nes­day, 6.9 per­cent higher than this time last year, ac­cord­ing to AAA.

“Con­sumers have a lot to be thank­ful for this hol­i­day sea­son: higher wages, more dis­pos­able in­come and ris­ing lev­els of house­hold wealth,” said Bill Suther­land, AAA Travel’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent. “This is trans­lat­ing into more trav­el­ers kick­ing off the hol­i­day sea­son with a Thanks­giv­ing get­away, build­ing on a pos­i­tive year for the travel in­dus­try.”

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