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AAA Travel announced that an estimated 115.2 million
Americans will head 50 miles or more from home over the 10-day winter
holiday travel period.
The 2023 domestic traveler estimate marks a 2.2 percent
increase over last year and the second highest year-end travel forecast since
2000, when AAA began tracking holiday travel. As for the highest total, 2019
remains the busiest Christmas and New Year’s travel period at 119 million people.
Data shows that around 104 million people will drive to
destinations, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to 2022. This year’s
projected total is the second highest on record after 2019, when 108 million
drivers hit the road for the holidays.
“This year-end holiday forecast, with an additional 2.5
million travelers compared to last year, mirrors what AAA Travel has been
observing throughout 2023,” AAA Travel Senior Vice President Paula Twidale
said. “More Americans are investing in travel, despite the cost, to make
memories with loved ones and experience new places.”
As for how many Americans will take to the skies, AAA
projects 7.5 million travelers will fly commercially this holiday season, surpassing
2019’s record of 7.3 million passengers, with the average ticket prices slightly
lower than last year.
“It depends on your desired route and destination,” Twidale continued.
“There are last-minute deals to be found, but if your preference is a nonstop
flight with seat selection, AAA recommends booking well in advance and
protecting your investment with travel insurance.”
Other modes of transportation—including bus, train, and
cruise—are projected to surpass record-setting levels from 2019, with four million
Americans taking alternative transportation over Christmas
and New Year’s compared to 3.66 million in 2022 and 3.89 million in 2019.
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Donald Wood is TravelPulse’s senior news editor, bringing nearly 15 years of experience to the desk. He currently lives outside...
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