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Thanksgiving travel numbers continue to increase in Arizona

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

PHOENIX — As families gather to feast on Thanksgiving, travelers far and wide will be crowding Arizona’s roadways.

Michelle Donati, spokesperson for AAA, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that they expect 54 million Americans to travel nationwide and more than one million travelers in Arizona alone.

“The vast majority of Arizonans, 908,000 will hit the road for Thanksgiving, which is up over five percent from last year,” Donati said. “We estimate we will rescue more than 6,800 Arizona travelers on the roadside over the Thanksgiving travel period.”

To avoid those driving pitfalls, AAA recommends getting cars checked to make sure they are in good working order before taking to the roads.

They also recommend traveling on Thanksgiving day, Friday or Saturday to avoid the heaviest traffic congestion.

“If you are coming back on Sunday, you should expect increased travel times because that is when most holiday travelers will be making their way home after the long weekend,” Donati said.

Unfortunately, it is becoming more expensive to drive on Thanksgiving.

“Motorists can expect to pay the highest Thanksgiving gas price in four years. As of Nov. 5 the state-wide average was $2.90 per gallon,” Donati said.

Higher wages, more disposable income and rising levels of household wealth are the main stimuli for the increased travel this Thanksgiving season, however, giving Arizonans plenty to be thankful for.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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