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A Busy Holiday Travel Season For D.C. Area Residents

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Nearly 2 million Washington-area residents are heading out of town over the holidays, and Triple-A says 90 percent of them will be driving.
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Nearly 2 million Washington-area residents are heading out of town over the holidays, and Triple-A says 90 percent of them will be driving.

The American Automobile Association says nearly 2 million Washington-area residents are traveling 50 miles or more over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

This December will see the highest number of travelers in a decade, and 90 percent of travelers heading out of the D.C. region will be doing so by driving, says Triple-A's John Townsend, which he says is a little surprising considering the high price of gas.

"We're paying record prices for gas, and will end the year paying about 25 percent more for gasoline than any year in recent years," Townsend says.

He says with nearly 40 percent of the area's entire population headed out of town at some point over the holidays, and there's little hope of avoiding traffic congestion on your trip. But Townsend says there is an option.

"One of the things you can do if you want to avoid the hassle, especially the crowded conditions is do what St. Nick does, and leave out after midnight," he says.

Triple-A predicts airline travel will be down more than 10 percent compared to last December thanks to higher ticket prices.

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