Number of Holiday Travelers Predicted to Top 100 Million

Infographic courtesy of AAA.
Infographic courtesy of AAA.

During the year-end holidays, AAA projects 100.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home, an increase of 1.4% from the 98 million people who traveled last year, according to the “2015 AAA Year-End Holidays Travel Forecast.”

This will be the first time on record that travelers have hit over 100 million for year-end holiday travel. It’s the seventh consecutive year of year-end holiday travel growth, according to the AAA report.

The year-end holiday period is defined as Wednesday Dec. 23 to Sunday Jan 3.

"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."

The increase in holiday travel is being driven by improvement in the labor market, rising incomes and lower gas prices. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest gas prices on New Year’s Day since 2009. Today’s national gasoline average is $2.01 per gallon, 55 cents lower than last year, according to AAA. And the national average price for a gallon of gasoline looks to fall below $2 by Christmas.

According to AAA, more than 90% of travelers (91.3 million) plan to travel by automobile during the year-end holidays. This is an increase of 1.4% compared to last year.

Daily car rental rates will average $68, 3% higher than last year’s holiday travel season, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight, a Colorado-based business information provider.

For the complete “AAA/IHS Global Insight Year-End Holidays 2015 Travel Forecast,” visit http://newsroom.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2015-Year-End-Holiday-Report-Final.pdf.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

Autonomous Vehicles and the Changing Role of the Fleet Manager

With fewer drivers and substantially longer fleet lifecycles, fleet managers will pivot to new job functions.

2017: Fleet Mix Will Be Paramount

Car rental companies are migrating to vehicle segments with better residual values, though not without bumps in the road.

Auto Rental Summit: Five Trend Lines

Taking in the seminars, discussions, and networking at the 2016 Auto Rental Summit, trend lines emerged around shifts in model mix, data protection issues, increasing labor costs, workforce engagement, and new platforms to rent cars.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.