This year-end holiday travel season will set a new all-time record for the number of travelers in New England, and the U.S., according to projections from AAA. Nearly 4.47 million New England residents are expected to travel at least 50 miles away from home during the holiday period between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 – a 2.5 percent increase compared to 2015.
Eighty-eight percent of travelers, or 3.96 million New Englanders, will travel by car to their destinations – a 2.6 percent increase from last year when 3.86 million residents took cars to holiday getaways. More than 384,000 are expected to fly, which is a 3.1 percent increase over 2015’s 373,000 air travelers.
Nationally, AAA projects 103 million travelers over the Christmas-New Year holiday, topping last year’s 101.5 million end-of-year travelers by 1.5 percent. This marks the eighth consecutive year of growth for end-of-year holiday travel.
“This holiday period is the longest one of the year and the most popular one for travelers because so many make it a priority to reunite with family and friends,” said Pat Moody manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England.
The increase in holiday travel this year is being driven by additional consumer spending, a result of improvements in the labor market and rising wages. Additionally, low gas prices and increased consumer optimism will prompt more Americans than ever to set out on road trips, take to the skies, or board trains, buses and cruise ships to celebrate the holidays.
Gas prices will be very similar to last year’s holiday travel period, with averages in the $2.20-$2.30 range throughout most of New England.
The most popular destinations for New Englanders over this Christmas-New Year holiday, according to a our AAA Travel agents, are:
- New York City
About the travel forecast:
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS 2016 year-end holiday travel forecast can be found here.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services. Operating 19 offices throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, AAA Northern New England is a not-for-profit, fully tax-paying corporation and serves as an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA Northern New England can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com.