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Thanksgiving 2013: fewer travelers on the roads

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David J. Phillip/AP/File

(Read caption) A sign alerts travelers to expect holiday traffic at George Bush Intercontinental Airport last year in Houston. Thanksgiving travel will be busy as usual, but projections for both road and air travel are down slightly from last year.

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If you live in the U.S. and plan to travel this holiday week, you're not alone. According to AAA, over 43 million Americans -- 43.4 million, to be exact -- are expecting to do the same.

That sounds like lots of traffic headaches in the making -- and in fairness, it probably is. But it's worth noting that AAA's 2013 travel projections are down slightly from last year, when 44 million Americans packed their bags.

The biggest drop will be seen in airline travel. AAA expects that 3.14 million Americans will fly the friendly skies this week -- a dip of 3.7 percent from the 3.26 million who flew last year.

Auto travel will be off, too. According to AAA projections, 38.9 million motorists will hit the road this holiday, 1.6 percent fewer than last year.

However, while fewer people may be traveling this week, those who do will be going farther. In 2012, Thanksgiving travelers journeyed an average of 588 miles round-trip. In 2013, that number is expected to jump to 601.


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