22 Dec 2009, 12:35pm

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Holiday travelers feeling the spirit

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Though millions of people still look for work, Americans are starting to spend and travel more as a hobbled economy appears to limp toward a long recovery.

Over the Christmas and New Year’s break, 87.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home, up 3.8 percent from last year’s bleak season and the largest jump in six years, according to AAA.

That means one in four U.S. residents will soon be on the roads, riding rails or in the air to see friends and family this season. Travelers budgeted an average of $1,009 per household for the holidays, with two-thirds expecting to spend at least as much as they did at this time last year, an AAA survey indicates.

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