AAA: Holiday travel to break a record
Published 6:02 pm Friday, December 23, 2016
It’s the day before Christmas and all through the state, every road was crammed and every rest area restroom made you wait.
The year-end holiday rush kicked off Friday, and travel experts are predicting this travel period, which ends Monday, Jan. 2, could set a record for the number of people travelling.
According to AAA, more than 103 million Americans — the most on record — are expected to travel this holiday season; a 1.5 percent increase over last year.
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AAA said the increase in holiday travel this year is being driven by additional consumer spending, a result of improvements in the labor market and rising wages. Additionally, low gas prices and increased consumer optimism will prompt more Americans than ever to set out on road trips, take to the skies, or board trains, buses and cruise ships to celebrate the holidays.
Most travelers will
drive this holiday season
The vast majority of travelers — 93.6 million people — will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent, with more than 6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease slightly, to 3.5 million travelers.
New Year’s gas prices second-cheapest in nearly a decade
AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $27 billion at the gas pumps so far this year, compared to the same period last year. Friday’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.24, 24 cents more than the average price on New Year’s Day 2016 ($2.00).
Most U.S. drivers will pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009.