More than 107 million Americans fly, will drive or utilize different means of transportation to travel this vacation season. That’s a rise of 3.1% year over year and marks the ninth consecutive year of climbing vacation season travel, according to AAA. Since 2005, complete yearlong holiday traveling volume has climbed by 21.6 million, a growth of over 25 percent.
Motorists include the biggest share of the traveling public, with an expected 97.4 million Americans prediction to hit the streets. Airline travel accounts for another 6.4 million (up 4.1% year over year) while buses, trains, excursions and cruise ships will probably visit 3.6 million travelers.
AAA and Inrix released Thursday afternoon the predictions, a worldwide transportation analytics company based in London. Inrix and AAA also predict that journey times for drivers could increase during the vacation season.
Based on travel styles, Inrix anticipates traffic congestion to summit on December 20 and 21 as commuters leave work and mix together with vacation travelers. Hours and days of peak traffic projected Together with delay multipliers for some of the Nation’s largest cities:
- New York: Wednesday, December 20; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; 3× delay
- Los Angeles: Wednesday; 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.; 2.5×
- Washington, DC: Thursday, December 21; 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.; 2.5×
- San Francisco: Wednesday; 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.; two×
- Chicago: Thursday; 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.; two×
- Boston: Thursday; 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; two×
- Seattle: Wednesday; 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.; two×
For those traveling by automobile, gas prices will likely be higher than at any vacation year since 2014. AAA has a national average cost per gallon of gas at $2.47 up $0.28 from this past year. The company expects gas prices to dip by the year’s end.
Air travel destinations have been called to be:
- Orlando, Florida (Disney World)
- Anaheim, California (Disneyland)
- Cancun, Mexico
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Kahului (Maui), Hawaii
Holiday season airfares are approximately 20 percent less than they were to the 40 routes, a last-minute low at $ 165 for a round-trip flight according to AAA. Typically, airfares are 5% lower than one year ago. AAA noted that space rates in both- and – Three-Diamond rated resorts are down 2% ($121 per night) and 5% ($156 per night), respectively.
Car rental rates are greater, but up 11 percent to $74 a day, a five-year record high for end-of-year travel.
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From Paul Ausick