1.4M Thanksgiving travelers expected to fill Virginia highways

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More than 50 million Thanksgiving revelers are expected to hit the road this year, marking the holiday's busiest travel weekend since 2005, according to AAA's annual travel forecast released Thursday.

Nearly 86 percent of local travelers - 3.3 million - will be going by vehicle to their destinations, a 3.5 percent increase from last year's 3.2 million auto travelers.

In fact, some 45.5 million road-trippers will set off to grandma's house and other destinations during the Thanksgiving holiday, up from previous year and the highest volume seen nationwide since 2005.

This would despite the fact that gas prices are the highest since Thanksgiving 2014.

The 1.07 million Marylanders expected to travel between Wednesday and Sunday of the holiday weekend represents a 3.4 percent increase, the auto club said. Today, the average is $2.58, but AAA expects the price will still be lower than what drivers were paying earlier this month. "Most people have already made their travel plans, and will not cancel them for moderate shifts in gas prices". Americans on average are paying $2.56 at the pump, and Virginians have seen an average increase of 30 cent across the state from previous year.

The AAA poll says a strong economy and high consumer confidence are contributing to the desire to travel, or at least provide the finances. The national average is at $2.54 - a full 37 cents higher than previous year, according to AAA. The average price at AAA Three Diamond rated accommodations has jumped 14 percent to $176 per night, although rates at Two Diamond rates hotels are down 5 percent to $117. "And should help fuel consumer spending and generate a strong finish for the travel industry this year". Nationally, Anaheim, site of the Disneyland Resort, is expected to be the second most popular Thanksgiving destination, according to the AAA.

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