Holiday Travel Expected To Be Even Worse This Year

( – AAA is forecasting hundreds of millions of travelers on the roads and Airlines for America is claiming nearly 40 million people will fly for the holidays. That’s a bump over last year’s numbers.

AAA said 115 million people are expected to drive 50 miles or more during the 10 days between December 23rd and New Year’s Day. That’s a 2.2% increase over last year’s prediction, but still 3% shy of the all-time high during 2019’s Christmas season.

AAA spokeswoman Aixa Diaz said folks are experiencing a more intense desire to “get away” for the holidays. She also suggested that folks are budgeting for travel and cutting costs elsewhere. She also indicated that many folks will continue to work through the holidays so rush-hour traffic could still pose a difficulty for those who choose to travel during those times.

Air travel has already passed 2019 records with the quantity of travelers up 12.4% compared to last year, and 1.4% higher than 2019’s record. TSA screened 2.9 million travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend; the all-time high occurred on Sunday, November 26th.

Airlines for America predicts 39 million air travelers will board flights between December 20th and January 2nd, with an average of 2.8 million per day and more than 3 million on peak travel days. The numbers are over-estimates because the TSA counts individuals multiple times when they who board multiple flights as part of their trip.

Passengers are paying slightly less this year to travel, average fares in October were down 13% compared to last year’s numbers, according to government data. Drivers will pay a bit less as well, with the national average price of gasoline coming in around $3.19/gallon down from $3.33 last year. There are even areas in the middle of the country where the price dips below the $3 mark.

INRIX, a transportation company predicts the busiest days for highway travel will be Saturday, December 23rd, and Thursday, December 28th, so plan accordingly!

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