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Foregoing Frugality, More Americans to Travel This Thanksgiving
CNBC.com | November 17, 2011 | 10:24 AM EST

Tired of saving money and eager to hit the road again, more Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday than last year, AAA said in a report released Thursday.

AAA forecasts 42.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the holiday weekend, 4 percent more than a year ago.

“Driving AAA’s projected increase in the number of Thanksgiving travelers is pent-up demand from Americans who may have foregone holiday travel the last three years,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president of AAA Travel Services. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period runs from Wednesday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 27.

“As consumers weigh the fear of economic uncertainty and the desire to create lasting family memories this holiday, more Americans are expected to choose family and friends over frugality,” Sutherland said.

Automobile and Airline Travel

About 38.2 million people, or 90 percent of holiday travelers, plan to drive this Thanksgiving, a 4 percent gain compared to Thanksgiving 2010, AAA said.

About 3.4 million travelers are expected to fly this Thanksgiving holiday, a 1.8 percent increase from 2010.

But AAA cautioned against any quick recovery to pre-recession levels, and instead anticipates a “slow climb” from 2008 — a decade-low year for Thanksgiving travel.

More Expensive Airfare

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