By MEG GREY
Based on a national telephone survey conducted by the Travel Industry Association of America, there will be an increased number of Americans driving and flying this Thanksgiving.
Despite the 4 cent per gallon increase in gas prices since last Thanksgiving, AAA estimates that 36 million Americans will venture 50 miles or more from home for the holiday, a 2.4 percent increase from last year. Eighty-six percent will go by vehicle; 31 percent will travel to towns and rural areas.
"The travel season finished strong this summer and we expect the trend to continue through the Thanksgiving holiday," said Greg Seiter, public affairs manager for AAA Hoosier Motor Club.
"Travelers should allow plenty of time for crowded roadways, busy airports and tight security."
Clay County Sheriff Rob Carter said that his main concern with an increase in vehicles is Interstate 70. He says that as long as I -70 is passable with no construction or accidents Clay County should be fine as far as holiday travel is concerned.
The Putnamville State Police post reports that they will have extra officers out on patrol over the holiday to watch for reckless drivers, accidents and other hazards.
"As long as traffic is moving properly on I-70, we'll be fine," Carter states. In addition to the road warriors, an additional 4.6 million travelers will go by plane which is 13 percent of all holiday travelers.
For those travelers flying the friendly skies this holiday AAA recommends leaving any gifts unwrapped because they may have to be opened for inspection. Refrain from wearing anything that has metal in it, place all undeveloped film or cameras in carry-on luggage which is limited to one carry-on bag and one personal item and place identification tags on all baggage.
After arriving at the airport do not bring drinks, other liquids or food to the security checkpoints. Once in line to board or exit the plane put metal in carry-on bag and take off outerwear and place it in a bin.