Record 115 MILLION Americans to Travel During Holiday Season, AAA Projects
Orlando, FL – More Americans than ever on record – 115.6 million – will travel this holiday season, according to the latest projections from AAA.
AAA expects that from Saturday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Jan. 1, more Americans will be traveling than at any time in the last 20 years.
In fact, AAA’s latest traveler projections represents an increase of 3.9% over last year, or 4.3 million more people packing up their sleighs for a holiday getaway.
More than 104 million of those holiday travelers will drive to their destinations, which means 3.9 million more people are expected on the roads compared with last year, for an increase of 3.9%.
“Holiday cheer is at an all-time high this year, with unemployment at historically low levels, and noted improvements in both disposable income and household net worth,” said Paula Twidale, vice president, AAA Travel. “Travelers should be getting used to crowded highways and airports, as this marks the eighth straight year of new record-high travel volumes for the year-end holidays.”
INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects delays to be the worst on Thursday, Dec. 26, with afternoon delays reaching nearly double congestion-free drive times in major U.S. cities.
Drivers in these cities could experience double the travel times on Thursday and Friday afternoon, although New York City and Washington, D.C. could see triple the delays, AAA warns.
“With kids out of school and many Americans taking extended time off for the holidays, drivers will experience only incremental delays throughout the week. Although congestion will be lighter than normal, knowing when and where major delays will likely happen will help save time and reduce stress this holiday season,” says Trevor Reed, a transportation analyst at INRIX.
Other Modes of Travel
With 4.9% growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the year-end holidays, with 6.97 million Americans expected to fly – the most since 2003.
Travel by trains, buses and cruise ships will reach 3.81 million, 3% more than last year.