ORLANDO, Florida – 115.6 million people are planning a trip of 50 miles or more away from home this holiday season, from Saturday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Jan. 1, with Florida being home to four of the top 10 destinations in the U.S., according to AAA.
AAA says that Orlando theme parks and other warm-weather destinations will see an influx of travelers looking to escape the start of winter.
Kahului, Maui, HI
Las Vegas, NV
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
New York, NY
115.6 million travelers are the most in nearly 20 years since AAA began tracking in 2000, and represents an increase of 3.9% over last year, or 4.3 million more people packing up their sleighs for a holiday getaway.
Automobiles: 104.8 million Americans, the most on record, will drive to their holiday destinations. That means 3.9 million more people are expected on the roads compared with last year, for an increase of 3.9%.
Planes: With 4.9% growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the year-end holidays, with 6.97 million Americans expected to fly – the most since 2003.
Trains, Buses, and Cruise Ships: Travel by these other modes will reach 3.81 million, 3% more than last year.
Rushing home for the holidays
More than 104 million of those holiday travelers will drive to their destinations and, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects delays to be the worst on Thursday, Dec. 26, with afternoon delays reaching nearly double congestion-free drive times in major U.S. cities.
“Holiday cheer is at an all-time high this year, with unemployment at historically low levels, and noted improvements in both disposable income and household net worth,” said Paula Twidale, vice president, AAA Travel.
“Travelers should be getting used to crowded highways and airports, as this marks the eighth straight year of new record-high travel volumes for the year-end holidays.”