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Thanksgiving Travel: What to Expect

The mad rush begins, but gas prices are down.

 

Planes, trains and automobiles—which way will you travel this holiday season?

Some 90 percent of travelers or 39.1 million people plan to go by car this Thanksgiving, according to AAA. That's a .6 percent increase over last year—not much of a jump but it keeps Thanksgiving as a heavyweight in the league of heavily traveled holidays.

The good news for those on the road is an expected drop in gasoline prices to between $3.24-$3.40 a gallon by Thanksgiving Day. But that expected savings needs to be judged in context. Last year's average was $3.32 per gallon, which was the most expensive average ever on Thanksgiving, according to AAA.

Despite the historically high prices paid by motorists this year, the national average has declined by nearly 40 cents a gallon since early October and should continue to drop through the end of the year, says AAA. The national average price of gas for Thanksgiving from 2007-2011 was $2.75 a gallon.

In the Washington suburbs of Maryland, average gas prices late last week were $3.42, a week ago were $3.49, a month ago were $3.72 and a year ago were $3.39.

For holiday travelers heading north, gas stations in storm-damaged areas of New York and New Jersey were said to be returning to 85-90 percent operational.

Despite the slight uptick in volume, travelers are expected to spend slightly less on going places this year, from an average of $544 last year to $498 this year, reports USA Today

Money may be the issue with the drop in flying, but officials say they are working to make the airport experience as easy as possible for those who are taking to the skies.

The Transportation Safety Administration and BWI Marshall Airport are working together to promote the TSA's new Pre Check program intended to make the travelers' journeys from check-in to the plane quicker.

Check out details in this video story

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