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A million Marylander’s expected to travel for the holiday

November 17th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

AAA forecasts 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.6 percent increase compared to last year.  Nearly one million Marylanders are expected to get away for the holiday, a figure relatively flat from 2014 given the 0.1 percent increase forecasted.

This year’s forecast marks the seventh consecutive year of growth nationwide, as well as in Maryland, and reflects the most travelers since 2007.  The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 25 to Sunday, November 29.

“This Thanksgiving, slightly more Americans, including Marylanders, will carve out time to visit friends and family,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “While many remain cautious about the economy and their finances, many Americans and Marylanders will not sacrifice traveling to spend the holiday with loved ones.”  

Despite improvements in the economy, including steady wage growth, rising disposable income and a falling unemployment rate, consumers remain cautious about their finances and appear to remain hesitant to spend at a level that would drive strong travel growth this year. However, gas prices remain well below 2014 levels, providing an early holiday bonus to the more than 89 percent of holiday travelers who will drive to their destinations.

“One holiday gift has come early this year. Americans and Marylanders will likely pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008.  Lower prices are giving travelers more discretionary income to spend as they kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway,” continued Averella.

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