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107 Million Americans Projected to Celebrate Holidays Away from Home

Jeffrey Eslinger

This year, it’s more prevalent than ever that there’s truly no place like home for the holidays. All across the country, Americans are projected to travel in record numbers to exchange presents and spread holiday cheer with their loved ones. From December 23 through January 1, AAA forecasts that 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation to make the journey home. 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel with a 3.1-percent increase in total travel volume. According to Bill Sutherland, the AAA senior vice president, “across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and we project the same for the year-end holiday period.” 

Here are some of the forecasted travel volume stats reported by AAA about this record-breaking end-of-the year week. 

  • Automobiles: The majority of travelers – 97.4 million – will hit the road (a 3-percent year-over-year increase).
  • Planes: 6.4 million people will travel by air, a 4.1-percent increase and the fourth year of consecutive air travel volume increases. 
  • Trains, Buses, Rails and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.2 percent to 3.6 million.

These projections from AAA are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and expertise – and by information gathered by INRIX, the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Historical travel volume estimates come from TRAVEL PERFORMANCE/MonitorSM, a comprehensive study measuring the travel behavior of U.S. residents, by DK Shifflet, an MMGY Global company.

During the most wonderful time of the year, we recommend you try to avoid traveling through major metropolitan areas. If driving, the ideal times to leave are typically early morning or after the rush hour of morning commuters. And if your schedule permits, traveling during the holiday itself will likely result in less traffic congestion. Additionally, we recommend you read the full AAA article to learn more about holiday headache spots, the worst days and times to travel, the top 10 year-end holiday travel destinations and more.  

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