(AAA news release) AAA projects 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of 0.6 percent from the 94 million people who traveled last year.
This upward trend marks the fifth consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume recorded for the season. The year-end holiday period is defined as Saturday, December 21 to Wednesday, January 1.
Highlights from this year’s 2013/2014 AAA Year-End Holidays Travel Forecast include:
Holiday travel to total 94.5 million, an increase of 0.6 percent from the 94 million who traveled last year.
Year-end holiday travel is expected to increase for the fifth consecutive year, reaching a new high since data has been collected by AAA.
Ninety-one percent of travelers or 85.8 million to travel by automobile, an increase of 0.9 percent.
Nearly 30 percent (29.7) of all Americans will take a trip this holiday, with more than one in four (27 percent) taking a road trip.
Holiday air travel is expected to decline slightly to 5.53 million travelers from 5.61 last year.
Median spending expected to increase slightly to $765, compared to $759 last year.
“While economic growth has stagnated and consumer confidence has fallen Americans will not be Scrooges when it comes to traveling this year,” said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. “AAA is projecting more Americans to travel than ever before to gather with friends and family, exchange presents and ring in the New Year.”
Only once in the past decade has there been a change in travel volume greater than five percent and that was a decline in 2007 as the recession was just getting started. “Of all the travel holidays, the year-end holiday season remains the least volatile as Americans will not let economic conditions dictate their travel plans to celebrate the holidays,” said Doney.