AAA Holiday Travel Outlook Shows More Drivers Hitting The Road
Newly released figures show more Americans are opting to stay on the ground when traveling this year for the holidays. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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According to AAA, travelers will have more company on the roads compared with last year during the 11-day holiday travel period spanning Dec. 23 through January 2.
The national travel agency says 2.1 percent more drivers will put the pedal to the metal this year even though gas prices are about a quarter more per gallon.
A full 91 percent of holiday travelers -- about 86 million Americans -- will get to where they are going on four wheels. That’s nearly 27 percent of the U.S. population, marking the second highest percentage of drivers this decade.
Holiday travel in general is forecast to be up by 1.4 percent from a year ago, no matter the mode of transport.
Air travel, however, takes a dive, down nearly 10 percent to six percent of holiday travelers, mainly because airfares are averaging 21 percent higher than a year ago.
If you are among the 5.4 million Americans flying, Skype is offering an hour’s worth of free WiFi in 50 airports across the country for making calls between now and December 27.
People aren’t going as far this holiday, as distances to their destinations dropped by almost a third over last year to 726 miles. To make that trip, travelers are budgeting about a dollar per mile, with the total travel budget averaging $718, up three percent from a year ago.
Both rail and bus travel are expected to rise a combined 4.2 percent this year as an indicator that people continue to look for ways to keep travel costs down in the recession.
For more information, visit www.aaa.com.