AAA expects travel to pick up this Thanksgiving |

AAA expects travel to pick up this Thanksgiving

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The American Automobile Association estimates a 1.4 percent increase in Thanksgiving travel as compared to 2008, according to a report released on Nov. 18.

AAA reported that 38.4 million Americans are expected to travel 50 or more miles from home this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, meaning more motorists on the roadway than for last year’s holiday.

Estimates predict the mountain states – including Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and Montana – will see only a slight increase of 0.3 percent, or 2.5 million travelers, during this week’s holiday.

Last year saw a steep drop of 25 percent nationwide as the housing and financial crisis took hold. This year’s expected increase in travel reflects improved consumer confidence from this same time last year, according to AAA.

The company cited better financial market performance and a growing sense among many consumers that the worst of the global economic crisis is in the rear view mirror, as reason for the slight increase this year.

The report stated that AAA projects 84 percent of holiday travelers in the Mountain Region will travel by automobile. However, they predict that only 8 percent will travel by plane with ticket prices expected to decrease 4 percent. And the remaining 8 percent will travel by other means including train, busses and multiple modes of transportation.

AAA also reported declines in car rental rates, down a reported 3 percent, and an 11 percent decline in lodging rates in the Mountain Region.

The average price per gallon for self-serve regular reported for Glenwood Springs was up slightly to $2.59, from $2.49 for the same week last year.

AAA projections are based on research conducted by IHS Global Insight. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. AAA has more than 525,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers. More information can be obtained at

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