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More New Jerseyans Plan To Hit The Road This Holiday Season

Flickr User WSeltzer

Plan on hitting the road for the holidays? You might want to pack your patience. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic’s travel forecast projections, over 2.2 million New Jersey residents will travel 50 miles or more from home for Christmas and New Year’s. That’s a slight increase over last year’s figures.

Ninety-one percent of all New Jersey travelers will hit the roadways, that’s a .9% increase over 2010′s numbers. The increase comes despite higher gas prices this year over the same period last year. The average cost of full-serve regular gasoline is currently $3.12 per gallon, compared to last year’s price of $2.94.

AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokeswoman Tracy Noble said, “Gas prices always come in to play when we’re talking about holiday travel. However, people are going to see friends and family, so they aren’t going to let that differential in the price keep them home.”

With so many people expected to hit the roadways, planning is key. “When traveling, make your plan ahead of time. Make sure that everybody that you are traveling with is on the same page so you can start off on a good note,” said Noble.

In regards to air travel, only 6% of travelers plan to fly. That’s down almost 10% compared to 2010. Why the drop? “People are usually traveling with family or with presents, and sometimes it’s difficult to pay the extra baggage fees and the added costs that are associated with it. People tend to drive for Christmas travel, compared to flying,” said Noble.

Travel is up nationally as well. This year 91.9 million Americans are expected to travel. Last year, 90.7 million Americans traveled during the Christmas holiday season. In addition, the average distance traveled by Americans during the year-end holidays is expected to be 726, which is a decline over last year. However, spending is expected to increase with travelers averaging about $718, up 3% from last year.

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