Traffic jam

© Salwan Georges, Detroit Free Press

AAA Forecasts This Holiday Season Will See Record Breaking Travel

Planes, Trains, Automobiles will be busy this holiday season

December 13, 2018 - 10:03 am

Planes, Trains, Automobiles--If you are traveling this holiday season, brace yourself. You’ll be joining the 112.5 million other Americans on the move during Saturday, December 22 through Tuesday, January 1st.

AAA forecasts more than one-in-three Americans will travel for the holidays, a record for holiday season.

“It’s exciting to see a record-breaking number of people traveling and bringing cheer to family and friends,” said Jim Lehman, president of AAA East Central. “The strong economy and declining gas price trends play a role in this year’s projected increase.”

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And while the strong economy and gas prices at the lowest national average of the year, means people can afford to travel this holiday season, it also means headaches may ensue in transit.

According to INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, the increased number of travelers can make road trips within cities four times longer than normal. This congestion is projected to begin on Wednesday, December 19th, with travel times within Atlanta, New York City, Boston, and Houston three times a normal trip.

For a look closure to home, there will be about 13 million travelers in the mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York), which is up 4.5% from last year. That means 11.7 million travelers on the road, and 842,000 people in the airports.

Before you begin you travel, AAA has some helpful tips for you.

If you are driving, make sure to get your car looked at before hitting the read.

Prep your car by getting oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections. Get an emergency roadside kit in case you hit bad weather, and make sure it contains a mobile phone and car charger, first-aid kit, blankets, drinking water and snacks, a flashlight with extra batteries, a basic toolkit, warning flares, an ice scraper, jumper cables and a shovel.

If you do run into trouble this holiday season, AAA members can call the toll-free number (800-222-4357 or 800-AAA-Help), or contact AAA via for assistance.

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