By Nick Gale, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year. That’s the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007.
In Illinois, 2.5 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 1.6-percent increase from 2015. Of those travelers, nearly 2.3 million will be driving and 182,000 will be flying.
In Indiana, nearly 1.1 million people are expected to travel. Of those, 980,000 are expected to travel by auto and about 79,000 by air.
AAA says this year’s increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence. Despite recent incremental increases in the national average price of gasoline, AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $28 billion so far at the pumps this year compared to the same period last year.
This year’s top Thanksgiving destinations include many popular west coast cities, as well as perennial family-friendly favorites. The most popular destinations this Thanksgiving, based on AAA.com bookings, are:
1.Las Vegas, Nevada
2.San Francisco, California
3.San Diego, California
5.New York City, New York
6.New Orleans, Louisiana
8.Fort Lauderdale, Florida
AAA expects to rescue more than 370,000 motorists this Thanksgiving, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends that motorists check the condition of their battery and tires and pack emergency kits in their vehicles before heading out on a holiday getaway.
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