Planes, Trains and Automobiles: 107 Million Americans to Travel for Holidays

17 December, 2017, 01:54 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • This guy may have the right idea on how to avoid possible delays drivers may experience due to the record number of travelers during the holidays

A new AAA report predicts a record-breaking 107.3 million Americans will be hitting the roads, rails and skies this year - leading potential pandemonium on the heaviest travel days.

This marks the ninth consecutive year of increased holiday year-end travel, defined as Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1.

Drivers are expected to experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week - on Wednesday, Dec. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 21 - in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.

This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record, the group says, and a 3.1% increase compared with a year ago. "Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak times altogether or consider alternative routes". Prices are expected to drop on average by another 5 cents per gallon before the year is out, bringing some relief to the estimated 97.4 million people taking to the road for the holiday season.

Since 2005, the volume of Americans traveling for the holidays has increased by 21.6 million, or more than 25 percent. So far this December, the price for gasoline is 28 cents more than it was past year. "Travel volume has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend in 2017 - Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving - and we project the same for the year-end holiday period". This as predictions roll in that holiday travel across the country could set records.

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"We are also seeing that the labor market is doing very well, consumers have more money in their pockets and are more confident. they are spending that money and are contributing more to travel", said AAA spokesperson Tamra Johnson.

"Overall, our research shows that Americans are doing better than past year and want to go somewhere for the holidays", said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, AAA Travel. The higher average auto rental cost sets new five-year record high rate for year-end holiday travel. Bill Sutherland, AAA's senior vice president of travel and publishing, says that's a common theme he's seen in recent years.

For those traveling by plane, AAA says it's best to prepare for the crunch - particularly long security lines.

Unlike average airfare and hotel rates, vehicle rental prices have increased by 11 percent over a year ago.

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