AAA News Release: 11/16/2012

RESIDENTS CHOOSING TO STAY CLOSER TO HOME

THANKSGIVING TRAVEL BY MARYLANDERS FLAT VERSUS LAST YEAR’S HOLIDAY

TOWSON, MD (November 16, 2012) – The number of Marylanders forecasted to travel this Thanksgiving holiday is virtually flat versus last year’s holiday, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.  Nearly 883,000 Marylanders, less than a half percent increase, are expected to travel 50 miles or more round trip compared to 2011.  The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 21 to Sunday, November 25.

“While Marylanders join Americans across the country in remaining cautious with household budgets and discretionary spending during the continued sluggish economic recovery, our forecast shows that many Marylanders are steep in tradition to spend Thanksgiving Day with family and friends,” commented Ragina C. Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic.

2012 Projected Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend Travel – Maryland

Travel By Mode

Estimated # of Maryland Travelers

% Increase/ Decrease

Total

882,700

+0.4%

Auto

803,100

(91% of travelers)

+0.4%

Air

61,600

(7% of travelers)

-1.9%

Other Modes (bus, train, watercraft)

18,000

(2% of travelers)

+13.5%

 

Average gas prices in Maryland and across the nation continue to decline after reaching a 2012 peak of $3.87 a gallon nationwide and $3.80 for Maryland in mid-September.  Despite the historically high prices paid by motorists this year, the national average has declined by nearly 44 cents a gallon, while Maryland’s average has declined 38 cents since mid-September’s peak,” said Averella.  “AAA estimates the national average price of gasoline will drop to the $3.25-$3.40 a gallon range by the holiday, similar to last year’s nationwide average of $3.32, which was the most expensive average ever on Thanksgiving.”

            Maryland’s average price today for self-serve regular is $3.42 a gallon, which is 27 cents lower than last month’s average price, but 6 cents higher compared to last year’s average.  “Despite higher fall gas prices compared to last year, Maryland travelers overwhelmingly choose auto as their mode of transportation with 91% of the State’s travelers forecasted to travel by this means,” added Averella.

 

Traveling Closer To Home; Visiting Family/Friends And Dining Key Activities

Compared to the nationwide average, Marylanders will travel slightly shorter distances to reach their destination, 529 round trip miles on average compared to the national average of 588 miles.  Marylanders are also planning to travel closer to home this year compared to 2011 when the average distance traveled was 740 miles.  The majority, 56 percent, have indicated they will take short trips between 50-400 miles round-trip, while only 22 percent of travelers intend to log between 701 and 1,500 miles.  (Note, these figures include trips by all forms of transportation and not just auto.)  “This year it appears short-to-moderate distance holiday trips primarily by auto are replacing long-haul trips by air,” commented Averella.

Given the Thanksgiving holiday’s emphasis on reconnecting with friends and family, it is not surprising that the majority of travelers, 81 percent, indicated they will visit with friends and relatives, as the primary activity during their trip.  The second most popular activity will be dining at 62 percent followed by shopping at 59 percent.

 

AAA Mid-Atlantic is based in Wilmington, Del., and serves nearly four million members in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia with personal insurance, financial, automotive and travel services through 53 retail branches, regional operations centers and the Internet.  For more information on AAA Mid-Atlantic, please visit our website at http://www.aaa.com.

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Contact: Ragina C. Averella
Phone: (410) 616-1900 ext. 61152 Pager: (443) 465-5020

Contact: Christine Sarames Delise
Phone: (410) 616-1900 ext. 61153 Pager: (443) 244-7253