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Fewer Americans to travel for Thanksgiving holiday this year

Illinois US-based automobile services association AAA said it projects 43.4m Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend for a decrease of 1.5 % from the 44 m people who traveled last year.

This decrease falls just shy of last Thanksgiving´s four-year peak since the recession-driven declines in 2008-2009 when Thanksgiving travel fell by 25 %. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 27 to Sunday, Dec. 1.

According to AAA, the total number of Illinois travelers will be 2.3m, a 1.3% increase from 2012, with 2.08 m traveling by auto (down 1.3% from 2012) and 167,000 traveling by air (a 3.6% decrease from 2012).

In Indiana, there will be 997,000 total travelers this year, a 0.8% decrease from 2012, with 896,000 traveling by auto (a 0.8% decrease) and 72,000 traveling by air (a 2.4% decrease).

Gas prices are lower than 2012 as travelers take to the roads this weekend. In Illinois the average cost of an unleaded gallon of gasoline is USD 3.27 and in Indiana the cost is USD 3.20.

AAA said its projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.

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