More than 3 million NC residents to travel during Christmas holiday

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More than three million Virginians will fly, drive, or ride the train which represents a 2.9 percent increase compared to previous year.

Although gas prices are 13 cents higher than this time a year ago, more than 90 percent of those traveling for the holiday are expected to drive, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Ragina Cooper Averella said. "We've seen the strong economy and growing consumer confidence fuel holiday travel".

More than 1.8 million people will travel between Saturday and January 1, about 1.7 million of them by vehicle, the organization predicted.

They also recommend downloading their app to help with travel - you don't have to be a member to download it.

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Trip times could triple for those traveling by auto, a AAA press release says.

Nationally, 2017 is expected to mark the ninth consecutive year of increasing year-end holiday travel, the release says. "That is on top seven by Alaska and it is busier this year because we added American Airlines in February and they are doing two flights a day to Phoenix and we added United Airlines with three flights a day to San Francisco", Stout said.

"Be sure you have a plan to get home safely if you're out celebrating this year", said Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA. You can call a ride for yourself or someone else by dialing (800) AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. on December 24 and December 31. The Two Diamond nightly average rate is $121, a 5 percent decrease from past year.

Virginia drivers are also paying higher prices at the pump by about 15 cents per gallon compared to past year. For Cotati, the cheapest place to fill up is at the Mobile station on Old Redwood Highway with a price of only $2.99. When asked if the transit system sees an increase in riders, Albee said.

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