Record number of holiday travelers to hit the road


Holiday Year-End Travel ForecastMore Americans than ever before will be on interstates and other highways starting Thursday as the end-of-year holiday travel season gets under way.

AAA forecasts 112.5 million Americans will travel for Christmas and New Year’s, that’s 4.7 million more than last year. The 4.4 percent increase is the most since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2001.

And here’s the most important part for you, the professional driver: 102.1 million of them — almost 91 percent of all travelers — will be driving during the holiday travel period, which runs from Saturday, Dec. 22 – Tuesday, Jan. 1.

But, expect traffic to begin getting heavier Wednesday, Dec. 19. Thursday, Dec. 20 is expected to be the worst travel day of all, especially in major metro areas. INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, warns drivers in Atlanta, New York City, Boston, and Houston will see travel times more than three times a normal trip Thursday.

“’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, AAA Travel products and services. “Strong economic growth fueled 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.”

Chart showing travel challenges