Whether by planes, trains, or automobiles, AAA predicts that this year’s holiday travel will be the busiest in six years.
According to AAA, they are expecting to see 93.3 million Americans on the road this Christmas season. That’s 1.6 percent more than last year and just 400,000 people shy of the 2006 record.
90.5% or 84.4 million of the 93.3 million travelers will travel by car on the highways greater than 50 miles from home between December 22nd and January 1. AAA says that more people are traveling by car this season due to higher prices for airplane seats and gas prices taking a bit of a dip at the pump.
“The year-end holiday season remains the least volatile of all travel holidays as Americans will not let economic conditions or high gas prices dictate if they go home for the holidays or kick off the new year with a vacation,” AAA president and CEO Robert Darbelnet said.
However, airports will be packed beginning on December 17th. The Airline industry expects to see 42 million passenger go through domestic terminals from that date until January 6th. One expert says that means planes will be on average at 86% capacity between those dates.
AAA says that this years 93.3 million holiday traveler will be faced with a 1.6% increase over last year.
According to AAA, hotel rooms are up slightly over 2011, and rental-car rates are up 41%. Renting a car this holiday will cost an average of $55 a day compared to $40 last year. Hotel’s lodgings will average $129 a night.
“Year-over-year we’ve generally seen an increase in reservations for the Christmas holiday,” said Steve Short, Enterprise vice president of consumer development.