More Bay Area residents will spend Thanksgiving away from home this year, according to a recent travel survey conducted by AAA of Northern California.
Despite budgetary constraints that have kept millions of Californians from traveling during the holidays over the past three years, approximately 5.3 million people statewide are expected to travel at least 50 miles during the Thanksgiving weekend, according to the survey.
That's a 4 percent increase over last year's numbers.
"Many Californians have forgone holiday family gatherings over the past three years," AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said in a statement.
"This year the overwhelming desire to travel has taken hold, and the desire to create lasting family memories is proving to be more important that staying home for the Thanksgiving weekend," she said.
With an estimated 4.5 million Californians hitting the road this Thanksgiving, heavy congestion is expected on roadways statewide, according to AAA.
Meanwhile, the auto club estimates that more than 620,000 California residents will fly to their Thanksgiving destinations.
AAA projects that the average West Coast family of four will spend $906 during the four-day holiday weekend.