AAA Arizona predicts holiday travel uptick

"This year, 80 percent, or 1.5 million Arizonans, are hitting the road for their Thanksgiving travels, which represents an increase of 9 percent over last year", Donati said.

Officials pointed to the rising economic confidence of consumers as one of the chief reasons for the increase in travel.

"One million more Americans than past year will carve out time to visit with friends and family this Thanksgiving", said Anthony Spada, AAA Western and Central New York president and CEO.

"I think people really are helped out by their travel budgets being so much lower with gas prices", Haney said.

With Thanksgiving gas prices the second cheapest in almost a decade, make sure to fill up before you heading out and to secure your gas cap tightly once finished.

The state average is $1.90 while the average in Topeka is $1.77.

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Gas prices average $2.33 in Rochester, down 7 cents from a year ago. In New Jersey, where the gas tax was increased by 23 cents on November 1, the current price at the pump (as of November 18) is $2.23, 25 cents more than 2015.

"It's not going to be as cheap as Thanksgiving weekend as past year, which was the cheapest since 2004", says Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service, which keeps tabs on gasoline prices. "With a record amount of travelers, motorist will be facing congestion not only on highways but gas stations".

She said auto travel would be the most popular travel mode, with more than 3 million people projected to drive during the four-day holiday weekend. About 1.4 million nationally and 22,200 in Maryland will travel by other modes, including bus, train or watercraft.

A busy holiday travel weekend is expected for the Wyoming Valley, as the AAA expects over 50,000 area residents will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving weekend traffic is expected to be heavy, according to the AAA. The average rate for a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel has risen 4 percent with an average nightly cost of $123. Citations for driving under the influence were 17 percent more likely during Thanksgiving week than the rest of the year, according to the researchers, and crashes where police officers listed alcohol was a contributing factor were about 25 percent more likely that week.

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