AAA estimates that 65.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Christmas-New Year’s holiday period, only a 0.7 percent increase from last year’s 64.7 million travelers. However, for those planning to travel during the last holiday season of the year, expect gasoline prices and airfares well above last year’s levels.
More than 81 percent of all holiday travelers are hitting the roads this season. Approximately 53 million travelers expect to go by motor vehicle, a 0.9 percent increase from the 52.5 million who drove in 2006. Travelers will experience some relief when renting a car this Christmas as rental rates are 4 percent less than last year.
For those traveling during the week of New Year’s, expect a 9 percent increase in both airfares and hotel rates for AAA Rated Three Diamond hotels over last year’s prices. Car rental rates, however, are down 13 percent.
AAA expects 8.9 million Americans (13.7 percent of holiday travelers) to travel by airplane, a slight decrease of 0.3 percent from last winter holiday. A projected 3.3 million travelers will go by train, bus or other mode of transportation.