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AAA: To grandmother's house we go!

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Fri, Dec 21st 2018 07:00 am

Gas prices are dropping and travelers are ready to hit the road

By AAA of Western and Central New York

If you’re traveling for the holidays this year, you’re in good company! Expect to see more travelers than ever on the roads and in the air this holiday season. Nationally, AAA’s projection of 112.5 million year-end holiday travelers will set a new record. The number of people taking vacations and also visiting families and friends this season will cap off a busy year for travel. With Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Tuesdays, higher-than-normal travel volume is likely the weekend before. Travelers will notice busy roads and airports throughout the holidays.

The majority of travelers this holiday season will drive to their destinations. Jerry Hooven, AAA vice president of automotive services, offered advice for those taking road trips.

“The most common calls to AAA are for flat tires, dead batteries and keys locked in the vehicle,” Hooven explained. “So having your vehicle serviced by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility can go a long way in preventing common roadside breakdowns. AAA can also conduct battery testing right in a member’s driveway.”

AAA Western and Central New York responds to more than 1,200 calls on an average December day. Hooven encouraged motorists to pack a safety kit to keep in their vehicle with jumper cables, a cell phone charger, snacks and a blanket in case of a breakdown in poor weather.

While gas prices are higher than this time last year, they aren’t expected to deter travelers. The national average is $2.37, while the New York average is $2.69. Last year on this day, the state average was $2.63. The Buffalo average is $2.76; Ithaca, $2.55; Rochester, $2.66; Rome, $2.68; Syracuse, $2.57 and Watertown, $2.82, as of Dec. 19. One can find up-to-date prices online at http://gasprices.aaa.com/.

When it comes to air travel, Carol DiOrio, AAA vice president of travel, reminded travelers to pack their patience: “Airports across the country, including Western and Central New York, are expected to be very busy over the holidays with nearly 7 million Americans expected to travel by air. Travelers should plan to arrive at least 90 minutes – preferably two hours – before their flight and be prepared for security lines.”

If traveling with gifts, check with TSA (https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips) for information on how to pack them – don’t get stuck in security with a present that’s not allowed!

As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 880,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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