Thanksgiving Travel Set to Rise



More Americans will travel this Thanksgiving weekend, emboldened by an improving economy as employment opportunities and the housing market gain traction, travel group AAA said on Tuesday.

Some 39.1 million will drive 50 miles (80 km) or more away from home for the holiday weekend, which falls between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25 this year, AAA said. That is an increase of 0.6 percent from a year earlier.

About 3 million will fly to their destinations, bringing the total number of Thanksgiving travelers to 43.6 million, 0.7 percent more than during the 2011 holiday season.

Still, some travelers may cancel plans due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy around the U.S. East Coast, AAA said.

"We do not yet know the full impact that Hurricane Sandy will have on travel from the Mid-Atlantic region," AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet said in a statement.

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"We do know that the impact for many Americans in that region is substantial," he said.

The travel group expects retail gasoline to fetch between $3.25 and $3.40 a gallon during the period, comparable to last year's prices.

The AAA forecast is based on a monthly survey of 50,000 homes. (Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; Editing by Dale Hudson)