HOLIDAY TRAVEL FORECAST
On a national level, the number of year-end holiday travelers is
expected to top 100
million for the first time on record. Nearly one in three Americans will take a trip this
holiday season, with 100.5
million expected to journey 50 miles or more from home. This
represents a 1.4 percent
increase over last year and the seventh consecutive year of year-end holiday travel growth.
The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, December 23, 2015 to Sunday, January 3,
“The increase in holiday travel this year is driven by continued improvement in the labor market,
rising incomes and low gas prices which remain well below last year’s levels,” said Brent Stahlheber, Sr. Vice
President – Brand Marketing and Travel, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “This helps boost Americans’ disposable income,
generating more money to spend on lodging, dining out, and buying gifts.”
Driving remains most popular mode of travel for year-end holiday
More than 90 percent of travelers (91.3 million people) will
drive to their holiday destinations, an increase of 1.4 percent over last year.
Air travel is expected to increase by 0.7 percent, with 5.8
million Americans flying to their holiday destinations.
Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises,
trains and buses, will increase 2.4 percent, to 3.4 million travelers.
Airfares fall, hotel and car rental rates rise
AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are six percent lower this holiday
season, falling to an average of $174 roundtrip. Rates for AAA Three Diamond Rated lodgings will be four percent
higher this year, with travelers spending an average of $150 per night. The average rate for a AAA Two Diamond
Rated hotel has risen 11 percent with an average nightly cost of $119. Daily car rental rates will average $68,
three percent higher than last year’s holiday travel season.
Lowest New Year’s gas prices in seven years
statewide weekly average price for a gallon of gasoline has been below the $2 per gallon
bench mark for the past four weeks. Yesterday’s statewide average
was about $1.90, about 57
cents less than last year.
average price for a gallon of gasoline remains poised to fall below the $2 per gallon benchmark by Christmas.
Yesterday’s national average was about $2.01, about 54 cents less than last year. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the
lowest gas prices on New Year’s Day since 2009.
#AAAToTheRescue for nearly 900,000 motorists this holiday
to rescue nearly 900,000 motorists during the 12-day year-end holiday travel period, with the primary reasons
being dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and
tires for winter driving before heading out on a holiday getaway. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted
repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities
across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call
1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.
Download the AAA Mobile app before a year-end holiday
setting out on a holiday trip, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use
the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements,
request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at
With the AAA
Mobile app, travelers can also find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants via
TripTik Travel Planner. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators
to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable
cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match
for amenities and services.