Christmas will be spent at home in Lowell, but between then and New Year's Day 19-year-old Kylie Seese will be traveling to North Carolina, joining millions of others expected to make a trip over the holidays.
"After Christmas we usually rent a house in North Carolina for a big family get-together," she said, noting family members will come from California, Michigan and West Virginia for the event.
However, weather can sometimes interfere with the best travel plans.
"Last year we got stuck in a huge snowstorm near Tamarack (in the Beckley, W.Va. area)," Seese said.
More than 93.3 million Americans are expected to travel during the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holidays, according to the latest AAA travel forecast.
"That's a 1.6 percent increase over last year-and the second-highest jump in the last decade," said Bevi Powell, vice president of community relations at AAA East Central in Pittsburgh.
Before you go
Check antifreeze -a 50/50 mix of coolant and water protects cars against freezing temperatures.
Replace wiper blades if needed and fill windshield wiper reservoir with winter fluid to prevent freezing.
Check tire pressures frequently and maintain the manufacturer's recommended pressure. Never reduce tire pressure to increase traction. It does not work.
Check the car battery. If it's out of date, have it tested. Also check for a secure fit and clean away any corrosion on the cable connections.
Replace accessory drive belts that are cracked, glazed or frayed, as well as visibly worn, brittle, bulging or excessively soft coolant hoses. Look for leaks around hose clamps and at the radiator.
Source: AAA East Central Office, Pittsburgh.
She said 90 percent of those travelers will make their holiday trips by car. The rest will travel by air or other modes of transportation.
Drivers should see fairly decent fuel prices throughout the holiday travel period that begins Friday and ends Jan. 1.
Gas prices in Marietta Tuesday ranged from $3.04 to $3.15, according to www.gasbuddy.com.
Gas prices in the area were $3.39 at this time last month and $3.20 at this time last year, according to Powell.
She added that fuel prices could go even lower over the next few days, barring any unexpected incidents that could impact the price of oil.
"The number of holiday travelers has been gradually increasing over the last few years," Powell said. "We find that people still tend to take trips at this time of the year, regardless of gasoline prices."
Waterford resident Holly Sampson, 36, said fuel prices do seem to be coming down.
"My mother recently paid $2.99 a gallon for gas in the Lisbon area," she said. "But we're not planning to travel over the holidays. We have family coming in this year, and they'll drive about three hours to get here."
Chris Craig, 37, of Marietta was buying gas for $3.09 a gallon at the Get Go station on Pike Street Tuesday.
"We just had a new baby-Ailsa-on Dec. 12, so we're not traveling this year," he said. "But we will have seven or eight people coming to visit, some from L.A. and Massachussetts."
Heather Haught, 23, drove home to Tunnel from Toledo where she's attending school this week.
"It's a four-hour drive, but I came back to visit the family," she said, adding that gas prices at $3.09 helps make the trip more bearable.
Powell said in AAA's East Central region, which includes Ohio, approximately 13.4 million people will be traveling more than 50 miles from home.
"The highways will be busy, so drivers should make sure to time their traveling to avoid rush hour traffic near larger cities and listen to the radio for traffic conditions," Powell added. "They should also plan to take alternate routes in case of detours or other traffic delays."
The weather should be good through Christmas for those who hit the local highways, according to meteorologist Joe Merchant with the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va.
"Unfortunately it's not looking like we'll have a white Christmas," he said. "But it should be good for traveling."
Merchant said a cold front developing to the west of this area will pass through late Thursday into Friday.
"We believe that front will bring some light snow, but nothing major," he said. "After that the temperatures will warm up into the 40s Saturday."
He said the ground is still warm enough that any snowfall on Friday isn't likely to accumulate.
"There's not a lot of moisture expected after Friday, so it looks to be pretty dry through the holiday," Merchant added.
While nights are expected to be cold-in the 20s through the period- daytime temperatures will range in the upper 30s and lower 40s through Christmas.
Merchant noted that holiday temperatures can vary widely from year to year.
"The warmest Christmas in this area was in 1982, and the coldest was 1983," he said.
Those temperatures were 70 and negative 7 degrees.
Gilbert Woods, 59, of Whipple, won't be traveling over the holidays, but soon after he's heading south
"We'll stay here for the holidays, but then we're taking off with some of our family," he said. "It's our first time going to Florida in the winter."