The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year. Although the tough economy is expected to result in a slight decline in the number of travelers next week, the AAA forecasts that 41 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday.

With money tight, how can you splurge on both travel and turkey? Fortunately, there are some travel deals to be had.

Gas is cheap again...well, OK...cheaper.
At least it's not pushing four bucks a gallon anymore. The national average is now $2.07 a gallon. According to the AAA, that's 88 cents less than a month ago, and more than a dollar less than it was a year ago.

Hotels are cheaper. Compared to last year, room rates are down about ten percent. The economy has affected their bottom line, so hotels are hoping to get your business with lower prices. Savvy Frugality tip: Don't like the advertised room rate? Look for a hotel with a half-empty parking lot, and ask the desk clerk what their "best price" is for a room. Chances are they'll cut you a deal. They don't make money on empty rooms.

Airlines are more expensive. Air travel will come at a premium this year. The AAA says on average, flights are about eight percent more expensive than they were at this time last year. Also more expensive: car rentals.

Buses are still a deal. There are benefits to going Greyhound. The bus line's eFares, Priority seating and Advance Purchase Fares can either save you some cash (up to 20 percent) or help you avoid lines at the terminal to purchase tickets. The downside: you're still riding on a bus.

Ride the Rails. Grab Amtrak's Rail Pass and travel anywhere within the Amtrak system. The 15-day pass is good for 8 travel segments (a segment is any time you get on and off a train for a particular trip. For example, if you have to change trains you are beginning another segment) for $389. The 30-day pass is good for 12 travel segments and costs $579. It's slower, but likely cheaper, than taking a flight.


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