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Millions Plan To Travel During Holiday

Reflecting the ongoing sluggish economy, more and more travelers are getting behind the wheel for their travel needs.

According to the AAA of Northern California Thanksgiving travel survey released yesterday, the auto club is expecting the highest number of auto travelers since 1998.

The AAA estimates, more than 3.6 million Californians will travel by car during the holiday weekend, up 1.2-percent from last year.

“Travel by car is a growing trend across the county, most likely influenced by the state of the economy,” said AAA spokesman Atle Erlingsson.

All in all, one out of every eight people, or 4.4 million Californians will travel at least 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend. That represents a 2-percent jump from last year, he said.

Nationwide, the AAA expect 35.9 million Americans to travel, 1.7 percent higher than last year. The airline industry is seeing the highest number of travelers than at any time since September 11, 2001, Erlingsson said.

While 5.1 million people plan to fly, nearly 31 million will drive.