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Holiday travel improving, still below pre-recession levels

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  -- The number of Tennesseans hitting the roads for Thanksgiving this year is up significantly, but holiday travel has still not returned to pre-recession levels.

AAA says about 46.3 million Americans will travel this holiday season. That’s up more than 4 percent over 2013, but still better than 4 million travelers below the 2007, pre-recession peak.

AAA says about a million Tennesseans will be on the move during the holidays. Spokesman Mark Jenkins says it’s going to be crowded on the nation’s highways.

“About 89% of travelers will decide they want to drive to their destination. That amounts to about 41.3 million nationwide. In Tennessee, about 973,000.”

Jenkins says surveys suggest Americans are traveling more because they feel better about the economy and their personal finances. He says the average person will travel 549 miles, round trip, and will spend $573 while on the road for the holidays.