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Car-rental rates up, airfare down

Air travelers this holiday seascan expect pay bit less than last year. | Sun-Times Library

Air travelers this holiday season can expect to pay a bit less than last year. | Sun-Times Library

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Updated: January 19, 2013 6:17AM

Holiday travelers can expect to pay more on average for car rentals and lodging this season, but less for airfares compared to last year, according to AAA, which also expects slightly more travelers this season.

Daily car rental rates will average $56, up 40 percent from $40 last year, AAA said.

The average cost of
AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to edge
up 2 percent to $129 per night, compared to $126 last year.

Air travelers will find lower fares. For the year-end holiday period, the average lowest round-trip rate is $203 for the top 40 U.S. air routes — a 3 percent decrease from last year.

AAA estimates the national average price of unleaded regular gasoline will slowly drop through the end of the year and average between $3.20 a gallon and $3.40 a gallon by New Year’s Day. The average price was $3.25 a gallon Monday, down 17 cents a gallon from a month earlier, but a penny higher than a year ago.

In all 93.3 million people are expected to travel this holiday season, up 1.6 percent from the 91.8 million that did so last season.

Median spending for holiday travelers is forecast to rise 6 percent to $759 from $718 last season, AAA said.

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