Thanksgiving travel: many expected to drive, but shorter distanc - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Thanksgiving travel: many expected to drive, but shorter distances

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PHOENIX -

Gas prices are down a bit this time of year. But AAA says many people are still staying a little closer to home this thanksgiving.

Around four years ago, people had little to be thankful for. They stayed home to have their turkey dinners, unable to afford the holiday traveling expenses. This thanksgiving, AAA predicts more people will be hitting the roads.

More people will get behind the wheel to spend a day of thanks with friends and family -- like store manager Michelle Tellez. She's off to Tucson.

Tellez has watched her spending to make the hour and a half drive south.

Michelle Donati with AAA says more Arizonans will be driving, but they'll just be driving shorter distances.

"9 in 10 folks will be driving to their destination," says Donati.

Since last month, gas prices are down 35 cents nationally. That could help people put the pedal to the metal, especially for those people coming here to Arizona.

"Arizona in terms of tourism will be leading the way in the mountain region, we're slated to experience higher volume of folks coming, staying and playing," says Donati.

And paying. The perfect weather helps make this time of year peak tourism season.

Still, valley locals are feeling the pinch, like nursing student Brittany Goodell. She can't afford to fill up her truck and drive this thanksgiving.

"Being a student it's hard, being a single mom, it's one of those things, going to limit my travels, keep to myself, not really go a lot of places," says Goodell.

The native New Yorker is grateful she has some family here in town. The folks who did get to venture back home for the holidays are privileged.

"They're lucky, people get to travel back home, that is a blessing."

AAA predicts gas prices will continue to fall as we get closer to the holidays, encouraging more people to hit the roads and drive this holiday season.

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