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Thanksgiving 2012 Travel Forecast: Are You Hitting The Road?

AAA predicts 43.6 million Americans are leaving home this Thanksgiving.

AAA projects 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an increase of 0.7 percent over the 43.3 million people who traveled last year.

The agency says this is the fourth consecutive year of growing holiday travelers since 2008, when Thanksgiving travel fell by 25 percent. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Nov. 25.

But while more folks are getting in their cars, AAA says fewer will be getting onto planes: from 3.2 million in 2011 down to 3.14 million.

And folks are being more frugal this holiday than last, AAA says, with median spending is expected to be $498, a 10 percent decrease compared to the expected median spending of intended holiday travelers ($554) in 2011.

According to its survey, "spending time with family and friends (75 percent) and dining (56 percent) are the most popular activities planned by travelers."

And don't forget about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday! "Despite lower median spending,  half of all travelers (50 percent) plan to shop during the holiday," AAA reports.

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