Thanksgiving travel expected to be at highest level in 12 years

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This Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see the highest travel volume since 2005.

New predictions from AAA of the Carolinas show that more than 1.4 million people from North Carolina and 700,000 from SC will travel more than 50 miles from home over the Thanksgiving holiday, despite high gas prices. Eighty-nine percent of travelers will be traveling by auto.

The group said Thanksgiving travel has increased for nine consecutive years - and this year will see a 3 percent rise over 2016.

Total Travelers: Approximately 1,056,000 Wisconsinites will travel 50 miles or more; an increase of almost 35,000 people (3.4%) over previous year.

The Auto Club is expecting 5.37 million statewide to go by vehicle, which is up 3.5 percent from last year, and another 693,000 to fly - a 5.4 percent increase from last year. This will be the most expensive Thanksgiving to fill up since 2013, when Los Angeles gas prices averaged more than $3.60 a gallon, according to the Auto Club. Although Idaho gas prices have been among the highest in the country in recent years, a nine-cent increase over the past month brings the USA average to within a dime of Idaho pump prices. This will mark the ninth straight year of rising holiday travel. "This should set the table for small discounts at the pump, before the holiday arrives".

Gas prices in the US are averaging $2.56. At $157, on average, that is a 23 percent fare drop year-over-year.

Here's another gratuitous horror traffic jam shot to make you feel better about train strikes and poor urban planning
Thanksgiving 2017 Will See the Most Travelers in 12 Years

No matter your transportation option, experts want you to know that Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving, is the worst day to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

But some of the savings will be lost when renting a vehicle.

"Carolinians are still planning to hit the roads in record-breaking numbers to spend time with family and friends this Thanksgiving", said AAA Carolinas President and CEO Dave Parsons. Conversely, the average rate for a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel has decreased 5 percent to an average nightly rate of $117.

AAA said more Americans will also fly this Thanksgiving.

Of course, saving money is key when traveling during the holidays.

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