Many Taking Unused Vacation Days for Longer Holiday

Many extending their Thanksgiving weekend into a full week

In the year of the "staycation," many people are now taking the vacation days they racked up this year in order to extend their Thanksgiving holiday.

Rick Seaney, of, said many people have been hoarding vacation time and are now taking an extra four or five days off.

"They've been all hoarding up their vacation 'til the end of the year, and, you know, basically what they want to do is, you know, keep those vacation days, and a lot of them are taking them from Sunday through Monday, taking an extra four or five days," said Rick Seaney, of

AAA Texas predicts 3.3 million people in Texas will travel this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, reflecting a 7.5 percent increase from last year in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

The long holiday weekend started early for Jeremy Miller, of Fort Worth, who decided a four-day Thanksgiving weekend just wasn't long enough this year.

"(I) haven't had a weekend to myself in I can't remember how long, so I thought I'd take a good break and enjoy myself," said Miller, who extended his Thanksgiving weekend by two days.

Until this week, Miller hadn't taken a vacation all year.

"People always tell me, 'Take some time for yourself,' so I figure everyone taking the day off today is taking a little extra time for themselves," he said.

He's not alone.

Pamela Clapp, of Frisco, and her family flew to Albuquerque for the holiday. Her company gave people an extra day off on Wednesday for Thanksgiving, and she and her husband took another half-day Tuesday to make the trip.

"The economy the way it is now, travel is kind of a luxury, and a lot of people don't have that," she said. "So, as for us, we had to save it up for the holidays."

Even those staying close to home are taking extra time off. Grocery stores have been packed for days with people preparing for the holiday.

Shawn Cram, the manager of the Kroger Store at Mockingbird Lane and Greenville Avenue in Dallas, said his store has seen more customers than in past years.

"Business has been real brisk this week," he said. "(It) seems like people are taking time off earlier than normal. Weather's been nice, and they've been in here shopping."

But not Miller. He's off to Las Vegas to visit family.

"I felt it was time for me to take a break," he said. "I was working hard all the way up to Thanksgiving break because I knew once Tuesday hit, that was it for me."

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