Thanksgiving Travel Taking a Hit This Holiday - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Thanksgiving Travel Taking a Hit This Holiday

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PASCO, Wash. - 41 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home this thanksgiving, but that's not as many as last year, thanks to a rough economy.

AAA officials predict about 600,000 fewer people will be traveling this holiday, the first decline they've seen since 2002.  Even though gas prices continue to fall, AAA predicts the number of drivers will drop regardless.

Jim Simpson from Pasco said he wanted to go to California for Thanksgiving but doesn't dare with uncertain economic times.  "You got to hang on to what you got to make ends meet until we know when it's going to turn around," said Simpson.

Airlines have cut some three thousand flights per day meaning most planes will be 90% to 100% full.  According to AAA's leisure travel index, Thanksgiving holiday travelers can expect to pay more for airfares and car rentals this year but experts say there are still deals available if your travel plans are flexible.