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Marylanders plan to travel further this holiday season compared to last year

December 20, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

More than 1.9 million Marylanders are expected to travel 50 miles or more during the holiday period, which is the highest forecasted level for travel for the time period in the state since the AAA began forecasting Maryland state travel in 2001, according to a news release from the organization.

That is a 1.2 percent increase from last year, the release said.

AAA defines the holiday period as  Dec. 22 to Tuesday, Jan. 1, the longest travel period of the year.

More than 1.7 million Marylanders are expected to travel by automobile, a 0.9 percent increase from last year, more than 106,900 are expected to travel by air, a 4.1 percent increase from last year, and more than 77,000 are expected to use another mode of transportation, including buses, trains, or cruises. That is a 3.9 percent increase from last year.

Marylanders also plan to travel further this year compared to last year, based on a survey, according to the AAA release. They are expected to travel 765 miles round-trip on average, a 2.4 percent increase over last year, which was 747 miles.

The release said 47 percent of those traveling said they will be traveling with one other adult while 24 percent said they would travel with family.

Automobile travelers will benefit from the fact that gas prices across the state are continuing to drop as well. The average has dropped more than 50 cents a gallon since it reached $3.80 on Sept. 13. As of Thursday, Dec. 20, the national average for regular grade gas is $3.21 a gallon, the state average is $3.26, and the Hagerstown average is $3.35.

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