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Kansans Ready To Travel

KSAL Staff - November 26, 2013 10:00 pm

holiday travel

Roads in Kansas are starting to fill with holiday travelers.

According to AAA Kansas, there won’t be an increase in Thanksgiving travel this year, but the roads and skies will still be plenty stuffed.

More than 3.7 million people from Kansas and the other six states that comprise the West North Central Region will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, a figure that remains virtually unchanged from last year. This region also includes Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas and Minnesota.

Nationwide, 43.4 million Americans will travel, a drop of 1.5 percent from the 44 million people who traveled last year.

“While we are not anticipating growth in Thanksgiving travel in our part of the country this year, we do believe that travel will be consistent with 2012 levels,” said James Hanni, AAA Kansas spokesman. “As a travel source, we are forecasting the second-highest travel volume we’ve seen since the Great Recession both regional and nationwide, which is good news for the travel industry, even though the economy remains sluggish.”

The top three trends from AAA’s 2013 Thanksgiving forecast include:

* Road-trippers “give thanks” for lower pump prices. Over nine out of 10 West North Central region travelers will drive to their destination. With a current Kansas average of $2.97, drivers will pay the lowest gas prices for the Thanksgiving holiday since 2010. Drivers can “gobble up” gas for less than $3 per gallon in most parts of Kansas.

* Travelers “flock” to the roads, skies on Wednesday, Sunday. Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, and many people are off work the Friday after. The majority of travelers will leave on Wednesday, Nov. 27 (37 percent) and return Sunday, Dec. 1 (33 percent).

* The region is a “gravy train” for dining, visiting family & friends, and watching sporting events. While under 14 percent of the U.S. population will travel, nearly 18 percent of our West North Central region will travel. “Our region is among the nation’s strongest performers in terms of economic recovery, but it has not escaped a slowdown in growth. Nevertheless, proportionally more of our population visits family and friends, travels more by auto, and allocates more dollars in travel budgets for fuel transportation, dining, and watching sporting events than any other region,” Hanni said.

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