Thanksgiving Travel: By The Numbers

LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- Nearly 49 million Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving, according to AAA.

Of that, 43.5 million people plan to drive to their destinations.

"I think people always travel for the holidays to see families,” said Pascal Chitho of New Jersey, who stopped at a rest area in Lackawanna County Tuesday afternoon.

Officials with AAA say one reason for more travelers this Thanksgiving is the economy. In the past few months, there have been rising wages, increased consumer confidence, and spending.

"It doesn't really surprise me. We haven't really noticed a major increase in the economy, hasn't factored into our decision to travel this year,” said Jeff Crewell of Virginia, who is traveling to New York State with his family this holiday.

Travel experts say another reason for the spike in travel is gas prices, which are at the second cheapest rate in a decade, with a national average of $2.16 a gallon.

"We went as low as $1.79 we paid in South Carolina and then in Virginia, we paid $1.84,” said Larry Van Wie of New York State.

Some people say they travel every Thanksgiving, no matter what.

"Family means an awful lot to us and we've been away for a couple of months so it's good to see them,” said Mary Jo Van Wie of New York State.

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