One-in-three Americans to travel over the festive season

The AAA expects record-breaking 112.5 million travellers to hit the road between 22 December and 1 January

American skies, roads and rails will undergo the busiest festive season ever this year. According to the newest forecast conducted by the American Automotive Association, more than 112.5 million US citizens are planning to travel for the holidays between 22 December and 1 January.

More than 112 million Americas will travel for this year's festive season — Shutterstock One-in-three Americans to travel over the festive season
More than 112 million Americans will travel for this year’s festive season — Shutterstock

The record-breaking figure is an increase of 4.4 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.

“‘Tis the season for holiday travel, and more Americans than ever will journey to spend time with friends and family or choose to take a vacation,” said Bryan Shilling, managing director of AAA travel products and services.

“Strong economic growth fuelled by robust consumer spending continues to drive strong demand for seasonal travel. With a record-breaking one-third of the country choosing to travel this holiday, roadways and airports are sure to be busy.”

More than 102 million people will travel by car

The global mobility analytics company, Inrix, expects more Americans to travel by car this holiday season than ever before.

102.1 million people are expected to pack up their cars for road trips which is 4.4 per cent higher than last year. It is the most since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2001.

The 6.7 million people who will travel by air this year is the highest level in 15 years and is 4.2 per cent more than last year.

102.1 million people will most likely pack up their cars for road trips — Michelle_C / Shutterstock One-in-three Americans to travel over the festive season
102.1 million people will most likely pack up their cars for road trips — Michelle_C / Shutterstock

Travel by buses and trains will increase by 4 per cent, with a total of 3.7 million passengers.

Based on historical and recent travel trends, Inrix expects drivers to experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week – starting on Wednesday 19 December – as commuters and holiday travellers mix on the nation’s busiest roadways. Drivers in Atlanta, New York City, Boston and Houston will see regular travel times more than triple.

“With a record-level number of travellers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in major metro areas – with Thursday 20 December being the nation’s worst day to travel,” Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at Inrix, said.

“Our advice is to avoid travelling during peak commuting hours. If schedules allow, leave bright and early, or after the morning commute.”