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More Marylanders expected to travel this holiday season

More Marylanders are going to be taking roadtrips ("Are we there yet?") or seated aboard an airplane ("Peanuts or pretzels?") this holiday season than in the past, according to a AAA Mid-Atlantic news release.

About 1.9 million state residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1 - the largest ever since AAA Mid-Atlantic began tracking such data in 2001, the release states.

"In keeping with the uptick in holiday travel we saw throughout the year, Marylanders appear not to be holding back from traveling once again for the last holiday of the year, despite the looming 'fiscal cliff' and other financial concerns residents may be facing," AAA Mid-Atlantic public and government affairs manager Ragina C. Averella said in the release.

Friends and family will be visited, shopping purchases will be made and food will be consumed. These are the reasons many listed as why they're going out of town this holiday season, according to the release, with shopping and dining coming in first, followed by visiting family and friends.

This year, Marylanders will likely be traveling farther - an average of 765 miles round-trip - than normal during the holiday season, which is a 2.4 percent increase from last year, the release states.

About 1.7 million will be traveling by car, almost 107,000 by air and more than 77,000 by other transportation modes (bus, train, cruise, etc.).

For those traversing the roadways, Maryland's average gas price has dropped more than 50 cents a gallon since its fall peak at $3.80 in September, according to the release. The average is currently $3.27 a gallon, which is still the highest recorded during a holiday season.

The lowest gas prices around Carroll County can be found at http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/gasprices/.

The State Highway Administration has a new tool launched in November that sends traffic problems right to a cell phone. My Maryland 511 Direct sends email and text alerts about estimated travel times, weather conditions, fuel costs, delays and more about customized commutes, according to an SHA news release. Individuals can sign up at http://www.md511.org.

If traveling by air, the Transportation Security Administration has an app called MyTSA to help travelers learn what they can and cannot take aboard an aircraft, according to TSA's official blog.

Pies, bread, fruit cakes and turkeys can be taken on an airplane. However, put those cranberry sauces, jellies, jams, gift baskets with liquid or gel items in a carry-on item to ensure they're not taken at security.

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