Increase In Md. Holiday Travel Predicted

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Holiday travel is up this year in Maryland. In fact, AAA predicts almost 2 million Marylanders will take to the skies and road to see loved ones this holiday.

Christie Ileto has more on how more Marylanders will be scrambling to get out of town this year.

The auto club says travel by car, plane and buses and trains are all up, and no matter which mode of transportation you choose this holiday season, AAA says millions this year will get away.

For Evan McEwen, the trip home for the holidays has already started.

He’s headed to Philly.

“I enjoy the drive. Gas isn’t as bad as it is in Philly. It’s not too far,” McEwen said.

AAA says it’s the highest travel volume forecasted for the holiday in over a decade.

Travel by plane, train and car are all up this year.

“That’s actually a 1.2 percent increase over last year,” said AAA spokeswoman Ragina Averella.

AAA says 90 percent of Maryland travelers will drive and go further this year with the average round trip being 765 miles compared to 747 last year.

But on the flip side, the auto club says gas prices in Maryland are higher than they’ve ever been heading into the Christmas holiday.

“The holiday is the holiday, and we go whether the gas is $4 a gallon or $3 a gallon,” said Kelly Storm.

Even BWI Marshall airport says they’re bracing for an uptick in passengers.

“BWI has seen increasing passenger traffic over 2012, and we expect that growth to translate into a busy December,” a spokesperson said.

“Christmas, much like Thanksgiving, is one of those holidays where people really want to be with family and friends, and they want to get away, and they’re doing it,” Averella said.

Marylanders tell us gas prices, air fare and the proverbial looming fiscal cliff will not stop them from seeing loved ones.

While prices at the pump are high for this time of year, they have dropped by more than 50 cents a gallon since mid- September.

This marks the fourth consecutive year holiday travel will increase nationwide and in Maryland.

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