AAA has announced estimates for this year’s holiday travel and the overwhelming phrase of the season is: road trip!
Of the 93.3 million Americans estimated to travel from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1, AAA projects about 90 percent, or 84.4 million people, will be driving 50 miles or more.
That’s the highest amount of holiday travellers since 2006.
But what about the price of gas, you wonder?
From the AAA newsroom:
AAA estimates the national average price of gasoline will slowly drop through the end of the year and average between $3.20-3.40 a gallon by New Year’s Day. Gas prices dropped about 50 cents a gallon on average from September through early December, but remain at record highs for this time of year. AAA does not expect gas prices to have a major impact on travel volume, but consumers could have more money to spend on holiday shopping, dining and entertainment if prices drop through December as expected.
Flying is on the rise as well, with prices reportedly actually lower than you might expect.
Those traveling by air will find lower airfares according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index. For the year-end holiday period the average lowest round-trip rate is $203 for the top 40 U.S. air routes, a three percent decrease from last year. Approximately 3.3 million travelers will choose other modes of transportation, including rail, bus and cruise ship.
“The year-end holiday season remains the least volatile of all travel holidays as Americans will not let economic conditions or high gas prices dictate if they go home for the holidays or kick off the New Year with a vacation,” said AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet. “Primary economic indicators all show modest improvement from last year and AAA is projecting an increase in the number of Americans stuffing their stockings with airline tickets and hotel reservations.”
How you will be travelling this season, or not at all? Take our poll.