Millions of Americans To Travel Over Holidays

Airport | Image by woaiss

2023 is projected to be the second-highest year-end travel forecast since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.

More than 2.5 million additional Americans are expected to travel over the Christmas and New Year holidays compared to last year. AAA anticipates that 115.2 million travelers will take to the roads, rails, skies, and seas between Saturday, December 23, 2023, and Monday, January 1, 2024.

Paula Twidale, the senior vice president of AAA Travel, said this trend is similar to what has been observed year-long. “More Americans are investing in travel, despite the cost, to make memories with loved ones and experience new places,” Twidale noted in the company’s news release.

The majority of travelers — 103.6 million — will journey by automobile, while another 7.5 million will fly to their destination. Cruise ships, buses, trains, and other means of transport will accommodate 4.05 million passengers.

For those traveling by automobile over the 10-day holiday period, AAA expects the lightest traffic on December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1. AAA recommends starting in the morning for those heading out on any other days, as traffic will only become heavier in the afternoon and early evening hours. 

“Nationwide, drivers could see travel times up to 20% longer this holiday season. In major metros, especially in Denver, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC, drivers could experience nearly double the typical delays,” said Bob Pishue, a transportation analyst at INRIX.

“Avoid peak commuting hours and use traffic apps, local DOT notifications, and 511 services to minimize holiday travel traffic frustrations,” advised Pishue. 

This year’s holiday travel period will likely be the busiest reported for airlines, exceeding the 7.3 million passengers set in 2019, per AAA. The agency noted that average airline ticket prices are slightly lower this year than last, fueling the demand for air travel. 

In addition, the demand for cruises has skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, and more bookings are expected to be snatched up immediately after the holidays.

“That’s when cruise lines offer some of the best deals, and AAA members get exclusive benefits in addition to those discounts,” added Twidale. 

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article