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Nearly 30 Percent of Americans expected to take a trip this holiday season

Profile Photo By: H L
December 18, 2013

Nearly 30 Percent of Americans expected to take a trip this holiday season

Airport Tourists Photo: RainerSturm / pixelio.deAAA projects 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of 0.6 percent from the 94 million people who traveled last year. This upward trend marks the fifth consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume recorded for the season. The year-end holiday period is defined as?Saturday, December 21?to?Wednesday, January 1.

The total number of?Illinois?travelers will be 4.9 million, a 0.8 percent increase from 2012, with 4.4 million traveling by auto (up 1.1 percent from 2012) and 263,000 traveling by air (a 1.3 percent decrease from 2012). InIndiana, there will be 2.1 total travelers this year, a 1.3 percent increase from 2012, with 1.9 million traveling by auto (a 1.6 percent increase) and 114,000 traveling by air (a 0.8 percent decrease). Gas prices are about even with 2012 as travelers take to the roads this weekend. In?Illinois?the average cost of an unleaded gallon of gasoline is?$3.27?and in?Indiana?the cost is?$3.17.

National highlights from the 2013 AAA Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast include:

  • Holiday travel to total 94.5 million, an increase of 0.6 percent from the 94 million who traveled last year.
  • Year-end holiday travel is expected to increase for the fifth consecutive year, reaching a new high since data has been collected by AAA.
  • Ninety-one percent of travelers or 85.8 million to travel by automobile, an increase of 0.9 percent.
  • Nearly 30 percent (29.7) of all Americans will take a trip this holiday, with more than one in four (27 percent) taking a road trip.
  • Holiday air travel is expected to decline slightly to 5.53 million travelers from 5.61 last year.
  • Median spending expected to increase slightly to?$765, compared to?$759?last year.

“While economic growth has stagnated and consumer confidence has fallen Americans will not be scrooges when it comes to traveling this year,” said AAA Chicago Regional President?Brad Roeber. “Of all the travel holidays, the year-end holiday season remains the least volatile as Americans will not let economic conditions dictate their travel plans to celebrate the holidays.”

With nine in ten holiday travelers driving to their destinations, AAA makes a timely appeal to everyone on the road to be extra diligent about the dangers of impaired driving particularly when holiday partygoers may risk getting behind the wheel after a festive evening.

According to the latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, one in five of all licensed drivers, that drink at least occasionally, reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year.? The survey also reveals that 96 percent of drivers consider impaired driving to be unacceptable, with 50 percent reporting that drunk drivers are a bigger problem today versus three years ago.? “Despite the ubiquitous warnings about drinking and driving especially during the holiday season, alcohol-related crashes still represent one in three motor vehicle deaths,” said Roeber.

AAA expects to rescue 3.76 million motorists during the holiday season
Between December 21 and January 1, AAA expects to come to the rescue of 3.76 million motorists with the primary reasons for breakdowns being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists check battery and tire condition and prepare vehicles for winter driving before heading out on a holiday getaway. Car care tips and information are available at?

Automobile travel remains dominant mode of transportation, air travel decreases
Approximately 91 percent of travelers or 85.8 million people plan to travel by automobile during the year-end holidays. This is a 0.9 percent increase over the 85.1 million people who traveled by auto last year.? Air travel is expected to decrease 1.4 percent as 5.53 million holiday travelers will take to the skies.

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Source Hotel News Resource,

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