ASHLAND Shopping malls won’t be the only thing packed this holiday weekend as roads are also expected to be busy with more than 100 million traveling for the end of the year holidays.
According to AAA, 103 million Americans are expected to hit the roadways this holiday weekend setting an all-time record for the most people traveling. Compared to last year’s holiday travels, this represents a 1.5 percent increase, or 1.5 million more people traveling, This comes despite one fewer travel day this holiday season.
The increase in holiday travel 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, according to AAA.
“Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans will travel to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney.
AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $27 billion at the gas pumps so far compared to the same period last year. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.23, 23 cents more than the average price on New Year’s Day 2016. Most U.S. drivers will pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62.
Driving will be the most popular mode of transportation with 93.6 million expected to 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.
“Rising incomes and continued low gas prices should make for a joyous holiday travel season,” Doney said.
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