7.9 million Texans, one in e4very four men, women, and children in the state will be traveling between Saturday and January 1, and the vast majority, 7.3 million, will be traveling by car, according to the Triple A of Texas.

  "That seven point nine million travelers is actually going to be an increase of 1.8% over last year," said Dough Shupe, a AAA spokesman.

  Analysts say air travel is down for this holiday season, as more people are turned off by annoying security, higher air fares, and jam packed planes.

  Shupe says Christmas is the time when many people travel with family, and he says travel by car is the most economical in that situation, especially when you consider moderating gasoline prices.

  "We have seen the gas prices go down since the Thanksgiving holiday," Shupe said.  "Traveling by automobile is just the most economical for those folks."

  He says the temperature in many parts of Texas is going to be pleasant, and there are few major highway construction projects underway.

 Shupe says unlike other major travel periods, like the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, Christmas provides a wider window for travelers, and this year, with Christmas and New Years falling on a Wednesday, means many people will get the entire two weeks off and will be allowed to travel widely.

  The average Texan plans to travel 943 miles over the holiday, and spend $821 on transportation, accommodations, food, beverages, shopping and recreation, Shupe said.