Holiday Travel Predictions Say 100 Million Drivers Will Hit the Roads

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Seasoned holiday travelers know all of the secrets for beating the traffic, avoiding the rush and getting to their destination safe and happy. Yet even those who have been around the block a time or two may be in for a surprise this year. Predictions by AAA show nearly 90 percent of Americans will be driving to and from their holiday destinations this year, making it the first time that the number of holiday travelers will top 100 million.

“Holiday travelers will top 100 million this year.”

Travel forecast

According to the Washington Post there are several reasons for the uptick in travelers – it’s predicted that 91.3 million people will travel by car this year. It’s no surprise that low gas prices are a big contributor to increased holiday traffic. Having to pay less at the pump makes the long journey to the in-law’s that much more enticing. A stronger economy and continued growth are also to thank.

“The record number of people traveling this holiday should make for a joyous travel season,” said Marshall L. Doney, president of AAA. “Rising incomes and low gas prices are helping to fill stockings this year, and more people than ever will choose to spend those savings on travel this year.”

Drivers hitting the pumps

This year alone, low gas prices have saved Americans more than $115 billion collectively, according to CNBC. If that’s not a reason for folks to hit the roads this holiday season, not much else will persuade them either. Gas prices dropped even lower than normal this past Monday, falling below $2 per gallon for the first time since 2009. The national average stands at $1.998 per gallon, exceptionally better than the average of $4 per gallon just a few years ago.

Drivers don’t even need to worry which states they’ll be traveling to and from, because according to the CNBC news source, at least one gas station in 47 of the 50 states will be selling fuel at that price of under $2 per gallon. Drivers heading through Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Kansas will be most in luck this season as these states boast prices lower than $1.80 per gallon on average.

Best days to travel

holiday_travelWith this year’s rush of drivers, whether you’re packing up the car with luggage, presents and snow gear for an eight hour drive to your in-law’s or just heading a few miles down the road to your neighbor’s, holiday travel can be stressful. Before hitting the road, it helps to know the best time windows for traveling and to have alternate routes on hand if need be. While seasoned holiday drivers may already be well aware, the busiest day for traveling this year will be December 23rd with the three-hour rush beginning at 3 p.m., according to Conde Nast Traveler. Not far behind in expected traffic is Sunday Dec. 27th, as people return home for the start of another work week. Although it may not sound ideal, the best day to travel will be Christmas Day and if you can wait until the Monday after Christmas to return home, you’ll see a lot less traffic.

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