Holiday travel will bring increased traffic to the American highways this Thanksgiving weekend. However, with many families still simply trying to operate day-to-day on shoestring budgets, people are expected to plan shorter trips to carve their turkeys this year as a means to save money on fuel and other expenses.

According to the annual AAA Thanksgiving forecast, the slow economic recovery isn't strong enough to stimulate much growth when it comes to holiday travel. An estimated 43.6 million travelers will hit the road over Thanksgiving, traveling an average of 50 miles from their home base—up nearly a percentage point from last year.

The good news this year is that gas prices have recently gone down substantially, with the national average decreasing nearly 35 cents per gallon in the past month. AAA says travelers should expect to see gas prices right around last year’s record of $3.32 per gallon on Thanksgiving weekend.

[NBC News]