Number of Travelers This Holiday Season Expected to Hit an All-Time High
More Americans are expected to travel this holiday season than in any other year on record. According to AAA, the number of holiday travelers this year is expected to top 100 million for the first time ever.
Nearly one in three Americans will take a trip this holiday season, with 100.5 million expected to journey 50 miles or more from home, AAA predicts. This represents a 1.4 percent increase over last year and marks the seventh consecutive year of growth in holiday travel.
"The holidays are a time for joining with friends and family, and the record number of people traveling this holiday should make for a joyous travel season," said Marshall Doney, AAA President and CEO. "Rising incomes and low gas prices are helping to fill stockings this year, and more people than ever will choose to spend those savings on travel this year."
AAA attributes the increase in holiday travel this year to continued improvement in the labor market, rising incomes and low prices, including gas prices that remain well below where they were during the holiday travel season last year.
Driving remains the most popular mode of travel for year-end holiday travel. AAA says that more than 90 percent of travelers (91.3 million people) will drive to their holiday destinations, an increase of 1.4 percent over last year.
Air travel is expected to increase by 0.7 percent this year, with 5.8 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation—including cruises, trains and buses—will increase 2.4 percent this year to 3.4 million travelers.
The year-end holiday travel period this year is defined as Wednesday, December 23 through Sunday, January 3, 2016.