How to survive the Thanksgiving trip home to Miami

Travelers this holiday week won’t have much to be thankful for — at least not where their trip is concerned.

Because many airlines have been cutting back on routes, already-cramped flights are likely to be even more packed and airfare is more expensive than last year. And at about $3.36 for a gallon of regular unleaded, gas prices in Florida are expected to be 50 cents a gallon higher than last Thanksgiving.

Gas tank half-full view: “At least prices have flat lined,” said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club South. Leading up to Memorial Day, a gallon of gas was $3.87 in Miami.

The AAA holiday forecast predicts a 4 percent increase in travel compared to 2010 over the long Thanksgiving weekend, which starts Wednesday.

Over the summer holidays, travel numbers were either relatively unchanged or showed a decrease compared to 2010 — which could explain why the number of travelers is expected to increase over Thanksgiving.

“A lot of it is probably pent-up demand,” Brady said. “Those who didn’t have the means or weren’t able to travel during the summer, chances are they’re probably going to take [a trip] during the holidays to spend it with family and friends.”

According to AAA, more than 42.5 million people are expected to travel 50 or more miles away from home between Wednesday and Sunday. Of those, more than 38 million are expected to drive and almost 3.4 million leisure travelers will take to the skies.

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