Holiday Travel To Rise 4% In Md., Aaa Says

November 21, 2009|By Baltimore Sun staff

The staycation is no match for Grandma this Thanksgiving.

The number of Marylanders traveling for the holiday is expected to increase by more than 4 percent over last year, AAA Mid-Atlantic said Friday, with the majority going by car, bus or train.

The auto club projected 794,000 people would travel 50 miles or more round trip for Thanksgiving, despite economic concerns.

"Although Maryland's unemployment rate continues to remain at a high level and many residents are still experiencing financial hardship, it seems Marylanders have a more positive outlook this year and do not want to miss the opportunity to spend time with loved ones on Thanksgiving Day," said Ragina C. Averella, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, in a news release.

Most Marylanders - 84 percent - are expected to travel by car for the holiday even though gas prices have been on the rise in recent weeks. The average price for a gallon of gas is about 30 percent higher than last year at this time.

Only 6.5 percent are expected to travel by plane, a decline of more than 5 percent compared with 2008.

The expected increase in Maryland far exceeds the auto club's national forecast for travel on the holiday. On Wednesday, AAA predicted a 1.4 percent increase in travel nationwide.

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