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Holiday Travel on the Upswing This Season

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — The price of gas might be up and the economy is less than prosperous, but Americans are still planning on doing a lot of driving or flying to be with their families over the holiday season, according to AAA Southern New England .

In fact, this year marks the first significant increase in holiday travel in several years, says AAA’s Fran Mayko.

“Strong family ties and a pent-up demand to travel are the driving forces of this year’s 4 percent increase during the one holiday of the year that traditionally brings together family and friends," she says.

Approximately 42.5 million people will be taking to cars and planes between November 23 and 27 this year, says Mayko. And of those intrepid travelers, 90 percent will take to the roads, which is a 4 percent increase compared with Thanksgiving 2010.

“The forecast indicates that just over 12 percent of the New England population will travel this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period,” Mayko says.

The higher price of gas does not seem to be dissuading people from drivers who prefer the affordability, convenience and flexibility of their own vehicles. Still, Americans appear to be planning to stay closer to hom this year.

“On average they’ll log about 706 miles round trip, compared to the 806 miles last year," Mayko says.

The current average national price for a gallon of regular is $3.38, 50 cents more than one year ago. In Connecticut, the average price of a gallon of regular gas is $3.67, 54 cents more than a year ago.

Wherever your holiday travels take you this season, drive safely.

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