AAA: Christmas Travel Forecast 2012

by Christopher Freeburn | December 13, 2012 1:00 pm

[1]More people will be hitting the roads and taking longer trips this holiday season[2], according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The AAA estimates that 93.3 million people in the U.S. will travel during the holidays, up 1.6% from last year. Holiday travelers will make round-trips averaging 760 miles, up from an average of 726 miles last year.

Most travelers — 84 million, or 90% — will opt to drive to their holiday destinations. That more than a fourth of all Americans. But airlines will see more passengers, too. Travelers who fly to their destinations will rise from 5.4 million last year, to 5.6 million this season, a 4.5% increase.

Gas prices are expected to decline during December with the average price falling to between $3.20 and $3.40 a gallon by January 1. That’s still, a record high for the holiday season.

AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet noted that the December holidays were the season least affected by gas prices or economic factors, at least in terms of Americans’ willingness to travel to see loved ones.

The holiday travel season lasts from December 22 through January 1.

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  2. taking longer trips this holiday season:

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