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Holiday Travel In Florida Expected To Set Record

Tampa International Airport main terminal
Travel at airports like Tampa International is expected to be up nearly 5 percent during the Christmas travel period. COURTESY TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

A record 6.1 million Floridians plan to travel more than 50 miles during the holidays this year.

The Christmas travel period began Saturday and runs through New Year’s Day.

Five and a half million Floridians will be driving, an increase of 200,000 from last year.

Air travel is also expected to be up nearly five percent.

It will cost more to get to your destination this year, with gas prices up about 20 cents per gallon from 2018 and car rental rates at their highest levels in a decade.

Still, travelers won’t be discouraged.

“We have a strong economy right now. We have historic low unemployment,” said AAA's W. D. Williams says. People have discretionary income to spend this year, so they feel comfortable spending that extra money to travel whether they are driving or flying.”

Four of the top ten national Christmas destinations are in the Sunshine State, including top-ranked Orlando along with Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Tampa.