AAA

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The holiday travel season begins today. And a trend of more people hitting the road for the holidays is continuing.

Travel service AAA is projecting 98.6 million Americans will be someplace else for at least part of the holidays, a record number.

"It’s up 4 percent compared to last year. It’s also the highest travel volume on record. And AAA’s data does date back 13 years," said AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.

AAA recorded increases in travel for Labor Day and Thanksgiving holidays, too.

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More Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday season than at any time since the start of the recession of 2008.

AAA says 46.3 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home. That's up more than four percent from last year and the most hitting the road since 2007.

AAA Spokeswoman Diana Dibble says there are several factors driving the increase.

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More New Yorkers are planning to get away for an end-of-summer weekend than have in the past six years.

Travel service AAA says nearly 35 million Americans will travel over the three-day Labor Day weekend. That's more people than have traveled since 2008, before the recession.

And the “stay-cations” of recent years past are no longer. 

"The recession is really no top of mind for a lot of folks. So if they want to travel, they’re going to travel. We’ve seen a slow, steady rebound, so that’s been great news for the industry," said AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Potholes aren't anything new for upstate New York drivers, but the sheer number of them this year is wreaking more havoc than usual.

Steve Pacer, with AAA of Western and Central New York, says calls to their roadside service because of pothole-caused flat tires have increased this year. Other weather related problems like dead batteries and cars stuck in snow banks have also increased this winter.

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Today is the busiest travel day of the year, with an estimated 43.4 million travelers heading home for the holidays. But some Thanksgiving travelers are getting a bit of a break this year by spending less cash to fill their gas tanks on the way to their holiday destinations.

“It’s the lowest Thanksgiving gas price we’ve seen since 2010," says central New York AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.

Dibble says motorists will be paying an average of $3.49 in central New York, $3.56 statewide, and $3.21 for a gallon of gas nationally. That’s down 29 cents from last year in Syracuse.

The New York state budget calls for distracted drivers to pay a higher price for texting while driving or talking on the phone without a hands-free set.

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The number of people traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday is up for the fourth straight year.  AAA says the economy and gas prices are two of the biggest factors affecting people's travel plans.

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If you are planning on hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend, expect some company. AAA expects an increase in holiday travel on the weekend that starts the summer travel season.