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Holiday Travel Up In 2011 As Millions Hit The Roads

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Roads are packed as travelers get ready for Christmas.

Gigi Barnett has the scramble to get out of town.

Travel by car is up and plane ticket sales are down this holiday weekend. But no matter which method of transportation travelers choose, millions this year will get away.

Ride in a car, a train or on a plane. At airports nationwide, the heavy holiday travel season takes off Friday.

For the Schoenfeld twins, a road trip was out of the question.

“In a plane, you can just get up and go straight instead of taking all those curvy roads,” one of the twins said.

The Walker family’s trip started at 3 a.m.

“We took the Bolt bus in Manhattan, arrived here in Baltimore, took the Amtrak,” Yvette Walker, an airpline passenger, said.

Their final destination is Disney in Orlando.

“I’ve never gone away for Christmas,” she said. “I’ve always stayed home. That’s why I want to do it.”

That’s the trend travel experts are seeing this year. More people plan to get away this holiday after spending the last few years closer to home.

“It was boring and I barfed twice,” one of the Schoenfeld twins said of a road trip.

But according to AAA, plane travel is down by 11 percent across the country this holiday, even though for some travelers, it is the fastest way to go.

“In the end, it’s quicker, more comfortable and we don’t have to drive through or around New York City,” Kitty Nolan, an airline passenger, said.

By the scenic road by car is the No. 1 mode of transportation this holiday, even though gas prices are higher this year.

“It just seems like people are willing to make the sacrifice this year to get away, to be at home with loved ones,” Christine Delise, AAA spokeswoman, said.

One way to put a damper on the holiday is to become stranded. Experts say if you’re headed to the airport, check your flight status to make sure it’s on time. And if you’re traveling by car, fix it before hitting the road.

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