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AAA predicts more than 3 million from Michigan plan to travel for year-end holiday season


DEARBORN, Michigan — AAA says more than 3 million people from Michigan are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season.

The projections released Tuesday are an increase of nearly 5 percent from the 2.8 million people who traveled last year during that time. The auto club says that's the highest travel volume for the period since 2006. The holiday travel period runs Dec. 23 through Jan 4.

Nearly 91 percent of Michigan travelers are expected to go by personal vehicle. That comes as Michigan gas prices are more than 70 cents per gallon lower than the same time last year, averaging about $2.42 per gallon. AAA says that's the lowest level in more than five years.

AAA Michigan spokeswoman Susan Hiltz says in a statement that: "Continued growth in consumer confidence and disposable income, an extended holiday period and low gas prices should drive expected travel volumes ... during the year-end holidays."

AAA says air travel is forecast to grow 1.6 percent from 2013.

Christmas and New Year's Day are on Thursdays this year, creating a holiday travel season that is one day longer than last year's season. AAA notes that the calendar gives travelers more options for departures and return trips this year, making trips easier to schedule.

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