More than 107 million Americans are expected to travel by air, train, car, and ship between December 23 and January 1, a record number of travellers, according to an annual estimate by the American Automobile Association (AAA).
AAA is projecting a 3.1 per cent increase in holiday travel compared to 2016 and the ninth consecutive year that travel volume has risen.
“More expensive gas prices are not swaying holiday revellers to stay home,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA’s senior vice president of travel and publishing.
“In fact, across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and we project the same for the year-end holiday period. We’ve seen the strong economy and growing consumer confidence fuel holiday travel all year long.”
Most Americans (97.4 million) will travel by automobile over the holidays, and when they hit the road they can expect travel times up to three times longer than normal, according to AAA.
Air travel volume is expected to rise 4.1 per cent, spurred in part by airfares that are 20 per cent lower, on average, than they were at the same time last year. Rates at AAA approved two- and three-diamond hotels also are down, but car rental rates have creeped upwards, according to the report.
The top holiday destinations for US travellers in 2017 include Orlando, Florida; Anaheim, California; Cancun, Mexico; Honolulu, Hawaii; Maui, Hawaii; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Miami, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and New York, New York.