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AAA expects 865K Coloradans to travel over Thanksgiving

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Posted at 8:16 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 22:51:38-05

DENVER -- If you're traveling over Thanksgiving, you'll see a lot more cars on the road than last year.

AAA Colorado projects that nearly 865,000 Coloradans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year and the most since 2005. A similar increase is predicted nationally over the holiday.

Motorists should anticipate the heaviest amount of traffic Wednesday and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the auto club said.

Road trips will cost more, however. The national average for a gallon of regular is $2.56, up from $2.16 a year ago.

By the Numbers: 2017 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast

Road trip ready: 89 percent of Colorado travelers – 747,000 – are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, an increase of 3.2 percent over last year. 

Cheaper airfare: Consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013.

Fuller skies: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air travel, at 5 percent, with nearly 60,000 Colorado travelers.

Alternate travel: Travel by trains and other modes (including buses and cruises) is expected to 
increase 1.1 percent to 58,000 Coloradans. 

Fueling up: Drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014. Colorado gas prices are up 47 cents per gallon since Thanksgiving 2016, the most significant increase in the Rockies. 

Holiday high: Car rental daily rates will hit a five-year holiday high at $70/day, which may be due to an increase in domestic demand and cost of newer vehicles.