Thanksgiving Travel: More people driving, despite higher gas prices

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — 2017 is expected to be the ninth consecutive year of an increase in holiday travel with people driving to see friends and family.

According to AAA, 2.6 million Floridians will travel 50 miles or more. That’s an increase of 80,230 people (3.2%) over last year.

However this Thanksgiving, gas prices are likely to be the highest since 2014. The average gas price for regular, in the Tampa Bay area, on Wednesday, is $2.45 per gallon. Last year, it was $2.05 per gallon on average.

RELATED- Airports busy for Thanksgiving travel: What to know, check your flight’s status

Compared to last year’s holiday, it will cost the average motorist $6 more for a full tank of gasoline. But, continued improvement in the economy means more of us will travel, despite the rising gas prices. According to AAA, strong employment numbers, rising wages, and an increase in property values, results in more disposable income, which is often reflected in an increased travel volume.

Calculate the average fuel cost for your drive here.

An important travel note for Floridians: Orlando is ranked the number one travel destination in the country for the Thanksgiving holiday, which likely will be reflected in more traffic on Interstate 4.

The Florida Department of Transportation Road Rangers will be operating over the holidays, to help motorists with car trouble on the interstates. To reach a Road Ranger, dial *FHP, or *347. That number can also be used to report minor traffic accidents.

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