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Thanksgiving Day travel this year expected to rise again

Satya Murthy

More Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday season than at any time since the start of the recession of 2008.

AAA says 46.3 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home. That's up more than four percent from last year and the most hitting the road since 2007.

AAA Spokeswoman Diana Dibble says there are several factors driving the increase.

“We’re looking at an improving economy, an improvement in consumer confidence," Dibble explained. "And also lower gas prices. Consumers are spending a lot less on gas, which is increasing their disposable income. So families are able to carve out more money from their household budgets and travel this holiday.”

Dibble says those gas prices are key, because most people drive over Thanksgiving.

"We have a central New York average of about $3.02 a gallon," Dibble said. "That’s down 55 cents from last year. So that’s a significant difference in what people are spending at the pump.”

She says travelers should also be aware of the possibility of bad weather this year. The potential of snow on the East Coast due to a Nor-Easter means drivers and air travelers need to stay on top of the forecast.

“Certainly be planning for delays or anticipating a different route, or even trying to get ahead of any potential weather,” Dibble said.

Snow is expected to hit areas along the eastern seaboard today.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.