YORK TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY—The holiday season is upon us and for many that means packing the bags and heading out of town. But don't expect to be alone. Millions of your closest friends will be joining you on the highways and byways this thanksgiving season.
The official thanksgiving travel period doesn't start until Wednesday but many people will begin traveling as early as today. Millions will be hitting the roads, rails and airways to get to their desired destination. Pack your patience. For the first time in some time, the travel season is going to be a bit busier.
By car or by air, millions of travelers are heading out of town to get to their Thanksgiving Day destination.
"Holiday travelers are choosing family over frugality," said Bill Sutherland from AAA.
AAA estimates that 42.5 million people will travel over 50 miles this holiday season. That number is up four percent from 2010. As always, the car will lead the way. The highways are going to be a bit more congested with almost five percent more traffic than last turkey day.
"The automobile will maintain status as the dominant mode of transportation of holiday travel with 38.2 million people," said Sutherland.
Don't expect too many empty seats next to you if you are hitting the friendly skies. AAA expects a two percent increase in people flying this year with the average cost of a ticket, running about $212.
"Driving the increase is pent up demand from Americans who have foregone holiday travel for past three years," Sutherland said.
In fact, travel for the last few holidays including Memorial Day and Labor Day have been flat or down. But despite gas prices being $.50 higher than this same time last year, people are getting out of dodge and trying to enjoy time with family and friends.
"Sixty percent of travelers reported the economy will not impact their travel this holiday season," Sutherland said.
And if you think a couple of hundred bucks is too much for an airline ticket, keep this in mind. For the people staying close to home, it isn't much cheaper. AAA predicts that people who stay put for turkey day will spend over $550 to entertain those travelers.