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1.2 million New Jerseyans traveling this Thanksgiving

If you were planning to travel this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, you’ll have plenty of company.

David McNew, Getty Images

AAA was predicting that approximately 1.2 million New Jerseyans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the long holiday weekend, up 4.1 percent from 2013.

Nationally, 46.3 million people plan to travel, representing a 4.2 percent increase from last year.

The automobile will be the preferred mode of transportation for the majority of those planning to hit the road.  According to AAA, 89 percent of all travelers in New Jersey plan to travel by car, a 4.2 percent increase from 2013. Nationally, 41.2 million people plan to travel by car this year, a 4.3 percent increase from 2013.

And while the car is the most popular mode of transportation, all forms of transportation are predicted to increase, according to AAA.  In New Jersey, 8.6 percent of all travelers will travel by plane, a 3.2 percent increase from 2013.  Nationally, those numbers are up too, with 3.5 million travelers expected to fly for the holiday.

‘We’ve got increases in all modes of transportation this year, so people are definitely going to visit friends, family and loved ones for this holiday,” said Tracy Noble, a spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

In fact, Thanksgiving holiday travel volume is expected to reach the highest level since 2007.

Two of the contributing factors for the increase is improved economic conditions and lower gas prices.

“We’re seeing the lowest gas prices surrounding this Thanksgiving holiday since 2009,” Noble said.

In New Jersey, the average price of a gallon of gas is $2.73.  At this time last year, New Jersey motorists were paying $3.14 a gallon.

Nationally, gas prices are averaging $2.85 a gallon.

“That’s the first time since December 2010 that the national average has been below $3.00 a gallon, and that adds up to folks leaving home for Thanksgiving and taking to the roadways,” Noble said.

And while gas prices are cheaper, air fares are not.  Overall, travelers will pay about 1 percent more to fly this year than in 2013.  Hotel and car rental costs are also up by about 10 percent.

According to AAA, the majority of travelers will venture about 549 miles round-trip during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, which ranges from Nov. 26 through Nov. 30, and will spend $573.

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