Record Number of Travelers To Hit The Road This Holiday Season

Traffic Congestion Cost
Photo Credit: UMI

According to AAA, a record number of Americans will hit the roads this holiday season.  AAA predicts that 94.5 million Americans will travel 50 or more miles this year.  Last year, 94 million people traveled for the holiday season. This year marks the “5th consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume recorded for the season,” AAA stated.

Nearly 30% of Americans are expected to travel this season.

This year’s holiday period is Saturday, December 21 to Wednesday, January 1.

Highlights from this year’s 2013/2014 AAA Year-End Holidays Travel Forecast include:

  • Holiday travel to total 94.5 million, an increase of 0.6 percent from the 94 million who traveled last year.
  • Year-end holiday travel is expected to increase for the fifth consecutive year, reaching a new high since data has been collected by AAA.
  • Ninety-one percent of travelers or 85.8 million to travel by automobile, an increase of 0.9 percent.
  • Nearly 30 percent (29.7) of all Americans will take a trip this holiday, with more than one in four (27 percent) taking a road trip.
  • Holiday air travel is expected to decline slightly to 5.53 million travelers from 5.61 last year.
  • Median spending expected to increase slightly to $765, compared to $759 last year.

“While economic growth has stagnated and consumer confidence has fallen Americans will not be Scrooges when it comes to traveling this year,” said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. “AAA is projecting more Americans to travel than ever before to gather with friends and family, exchange presents and ring in the New Year.”

AAA says that 9 out of 10 travelers will drive to their destinations.  AAA recommends that drivers be “extra diligent” about the dangers of drinking and driving.

With nine in ten holiday travelers driving to their destinations, AAA makes a timely appeal to everyone on the road to be extra diligent about the dangers of impaired driving particularly when holiday partygoers may risk getting behind the wheel after a festive evening.

“Despite the ubiquitous warnings about drinking and driving especially during the holiday season, alcohol-related crashes still represent one in three motor vehicle deaths,” said Doney.