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New Jerseyans Choosing Family Over Finances This Thanksgiving [AUDIO/POLL]

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After foregoing Thanksgiving travel over the past few years because of the struggling economy, more than one million New Jerseyans plan to travel 50 miles or more by car for the upcoming holiday weekend….up 2 percent from last year.

“This year, people have come to the conclusion that enough is enough, we are going to visit our family and enjoy the holiday,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Tracy Noble. “They’ve had enough of staying closer to home and not being with their friends and family for Thanksgiving so they’re getting back in their cars and taking to the roads.”

AAA estimates that 934,393 or 89% of all travelers will go by car, 99,039 or 9% of all travelers will go by air and 14,672, or 1% will use other modes of transportation. As for the region, which comprises New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, Thanksgiving travel is forecast to be up 3.5% compared to last year.

“We are definitely not going to be alone on the Garden State roadways, especially since a lot of folks use New Jersey as a through state to get to their destination,” said Noble.

While gas prices are expected to be at record highs this holiday weekend compared to previous years, Noble said it won’t be a factor. “People are just looking forward to enjoying a meal with their loved ones. After staying home over the past couple of years to cut costs, they just don’t want to sit home anymore,” she said.

While travel estimates continue to show improvement from one year ago, growth levels are not high enough to support a quick return to pre-recession levels of holiday travel. A slow climb back is expected from 2008, which was a decade-low year for Thanksgiving travel.

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