More people will travel for the holidays than ever before, says AAA

Gladys Abbott
December 17, 2017

Americans are expected to travel in record numbers during the holiday season this year.

AAA is predicting that more than 107.3 million others will be joining you on your trek between December 23, and January 1, which is a new record.

"More expensive gas prices are not swaying holiday revelers to stay home", AAA's Bill Sutherland said in a statement. "In fact, across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend - Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving - and we project the same for the year-end holiday period".

Holiday airfares are almost 20 percent cheaper than a year ago. Another 6.4 million are projected to fly, while the remaining 3.5 million will be dispersed among trains, buses, rails and cruise ships, the report says.

If you're planning to travel to see loved ones, or at least those you tolerate, this holiday season, it'll be a bad news/good news scenario.

The strong economy and growing consumer confidence has fueled the growth in holiday travel, despite the most expensive year-end gas prices since 2014, according to AAA.

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Gas prices jumped more than 10 percent after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, peaking on September 8 at an average of $2.67 a gallon.

While there may be no way to get around traveling for the holidays, there are some tips to keep your sanity.

"With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in major metros", says Dr. At $165, the average end of year holiday airfare for a round-trip flight for the top 40 domestic routes is at a five-year low, according to AAA's Leisure Travel Index. Overall, competition, capacity over-expansion and lower oil prices are contributing to the decline.

USA motor trips will rise to 97.3 million for this holiday season, the seventh consecutive annual increase, AAA said.

"No matter where you're headed for the holidays, it's important to make safety a priority", said Amy Stracke, the executive director of the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation and the managing director of traffic safety advocacy for AAA and the Auto Club Group. At $74 per day, the rate has increased by 11 percent since 2016.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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