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Christmas travel in US set to post first drop in six years

The number of Americans travelling during this Christmas holiday period will post its first decline in six years amid a recession, the American Automobile Association American Automobile Association (AAA), federation of American automobile clubs, est. 1902. AAA provides a number of benefits to its members, including emergency road service; national and international travel assistance, e.g.  said Wednesday.

Nearly 63.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the period, a 2.1 percent decrease from last year's 65.3 million travellers, a survey by the motorist group showed.

This would mark the first decline in Christmas holiday travelers since 2002, it said.

"The economic downturn of 2008 eroded e·rode  
v. e·rod·ed, e·rod·ing, e·rodes
1. To wear (something) away by or as if by abrasion: Waves eroded the shore.

2. To eat into; corrode.
 the discretionary income Discretionary Income

The amount of an individual's income available for spending after the essentials have been taken care of.

Essentials are things like food, clothing, and shelter.
 many Americans would have spent on travel and, for some, altered their travel plans throughout the year," said AAA's Gail Weinholzer.

"However, those traveling this holiday season can take advantage of declining hotel rates and fuel prices."

More than 82 percent or 52.4 million Americans intend to travel by automobile this Christmas period, a 1.2 percent decrease from the 53 million people who drove last year, a statement from AAA AAA: see American Automobile Association.

(Triple A) A common single-cell battery used in a myriad of electronic devices of all variety. Like its double A (AA) cousin, it provides 1.5 volts of DC power. When used in series, the voltage is multiplied.

About 8.1 million (13 percent) expect to travel by airplane airplane, aeroplane, or aircraft, heavier-than-air vehicle, mechanically driven and fitted with fixed wings that support it in flight through the dynamic action of the air. , an 8.5 percent decline from the 8.9 million travelers who flew last year.
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Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Dec 17, 2008
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