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Economy unlikely to deter holiday travel
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Forsyth County News

It will take more than a recession to keep families apart during the holidays, as nearly 2 million Georgians are expected to travel at least 50 miles this week.

Among the travelers will be Lisa Jennings, a Forsyth County resident who didn't hesitate over the cost to travel to Nashville, Tenn., "because they're my family."

"We always go to my parents," she said.

While her family tradition will continue, Jennings said they are changing a few things this year to help with costs.

"We normally buy a gift for everybody, but my siblings and I decided just to pick names," she said.

In total, travel across the Southeast is expected to increase just 0.2 percent over last year, according to an AAA Auto Club South survey.

But the results likely will exceed estimates, said AAA spokesman Kevin Bakewell, because the survey was conducted when gas prices topped $4 per gallon.

"It's very possible that actual holiday travel may turn out to be greater than what the survey projected," he said.

Lower gas prices aren't changing Deborah Bongiorni's Christmas plans.

"We're trying to save money and budgeting is a little bit tighter this year and my husband had cancer this year, so we are certainly buckling down to watch spending," the Forsyth County resident said. "We're just going to spend time with friends."

While travel is up overall, air traffic is expected to drop about 8 percent from last year in the Southeast, AAA figures show. In Georgia, nearly 1.3 million of the 1.9 million people traveling will do so by car.

The good news is the Georgia Department of Transportation will cease all interstate and state route roadwork between noon Tuesday and 5 a.m. Dec. 29.

Traffic information, including wrecks and travel times, can be found online at or by dialing 511.