Holiday Travel Predicted To Hit Record High With 100 Million People Planning A Trip This Season

Santa Claus isn’t the only one polishing up his ride for the season: more than 100 million travelers are expected to take a trip for the holidays this year, which is a record number for the travel-heavy season. And, of course, it means sharing the roads and skies with more people than usual, which is always fun.

AAA is projecting year-end holiday travelers to top 100 million for the first time on record, with nearly one in three Americans going somewhere this holiday season. An estimated 100.5 million are going to sojourn farther than 50 miles from home, which is a 1.4% increase over last year and the seventh year in a row that holiday travel has grown.

If you’re trying to avoid traffic jams and crowds at the airport, the year-end holiday season is defined by AAA as Wednesday, Dec. 23 of this year through Sunday Jan. 3, 2016.

“The holidays are a time for joining with friends and family, and the record number of people traveling this holiday should make for a joyous travel season,” said Marshall Doney, AAA President and CEO. “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.”

Why are we venturing forth in greater numbers than we have in the past? AAA attributes the boost in travel to an ongoing improvement in the labor market, rising incomes and lower prices.

Though we’ll be taking all kinds of transportation to get to our holiday destinations, more than 90% of travelers (or about 91.3 million people) will drive, a 1.4% increase from last year. Air travel is predicted to go up by 0.7%, with 5.8 million people taking flights to grandma’s house. Another 3.4 million travelers will hop on cruises, trains and buses to get where they most want to be for the holidays.