Over the River and Through the Woods: Holiday Travel Season Expected to be Busiest on Record

Dec 23, 2013

Approximately 94.5 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this week for the Christmas and New Year holidays, according to AAA East Central. That’s a half a million more travelers than the Christmas travel season last year and the highest number ever recorded for the season.

“The Mid-Atlantic region there’s expected to 10.5 million travelers and most of those will be driving,” said AAA East Central’s Bevi Powell. “There will be about 9.49 million drivers on the road. The Mid-Atlantic region includes New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”

As is the case in this region, the top mode of transportation nationally for travelers will be automobile.

“91 percent of those who are traveling are going to be driving,” said Powell. “A lot of flexibility with the car, of course going and celebrating with families, it gives room to pack your presents, so a lot of people do choose to drive when they’re driving for the holidays.”

As it is every year, the Christmas and New Year travel period will be the busiest in the U.S.

“The busiest travel days are the day before Christmas," Powell said. "It’s always very busy. January first will be busy as people head back home to finish up the work week.”

Gas prices are down slightly from where they were a year ago, and while many people stay with friends and family this time of year, those opting for a hotel will find prices are relatively flat over last year.