Though Thanksgiving remains one of the biggest holidays for travel, fewer are expected to take to the roads this year, according to the latest travel survey from AAA Northern California.

The AAA Northern California's travel forecast predicts that more than 5.1 million Californians plan to travel 50 miles or more this extended, four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

This represents a 4 percent decrease when compared to last year, still well below the 25 percent plunge experience in 2008 at the onset of the Great Recession, the agency reported in a press release.

A sluggish economy and concerns about disposable income have put the damper on travel plans for many people, the agency noted.

Of those who do plan to travel, driving will be the most popular method of traveling.

Some 4.4 million Californians are projected to drive to their destinations during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend -- a 4.6 percent decrease over last year.

Further, some 5 percent fewer, or 500,000, are expected to fly to their destinations.

A slight increase of 1.8 percent is expected to be seen by those who use other modes of transportation this Thanksgiving holiday, such as boats and trains.

Nationally, AAA forecasts more than 43 million people, or 1.5 percent fewer over last year, will travel 50 miles or more during the four-day weekend, the agency reported.


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Many of those traveling for the holiday have already encountered severe weather behind the wheel, particularly in New Mexico and other western areas.

AAA reminds motorists to be cautious while driving in adverse weather and take lots of precautions including watching weather reports and making sure their vehicles are in good condition and they have plenty of batteries and other provisions on hand.

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©2013 Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.)

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