AAA predicts busiest Thanksgiving travel season since 2007

10:13 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 Nation & World

If you’re traveling this Thanksgiving week, plan ahead.

AAA estimates 49 million Americans will be traveling more than 50 miles from home this holiday. That’s one million more people than traveled last year.

AAA spokeswoman Tamra Johnson said an improving economy and low gas prices are main factors for the surge in travelers. Nearly 90 percent of Thanksgiving travelers will be on the roads.

“Those numbers are the highest we've seen since 2007,” Johnson said. “We really feel like people are taking advantage of the lower gas prices and driving this year.”

Johnson estimates that lower gas prices have saved American’s $28 billion dollars over the last year.

The driving group says some of the most popular destinations include Las Vegas, New York City, Orlando and Seattle.

AAA’s Leisure Travel Index projects airfares will increase 21 percent this Thanksgiving, with round-trip flights for the top 40 domestic routes averaging $205. Daily rental car averages lowered 13 percent to $52.

The driving membership group is planning to help 370,000 stranded drivers. The most common cause for calls will be blown tires, batteries needing to be charged and drivers locking themselves out of their cars.

AAA defines the Thanksgiving travel period as Wednesday through Sunday.

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