Planes, Trains and Automobiles: 107 Million Americans to Travel for Holidays

Travel organization AAA projects highest year-end travel volume ever.

Americans are expected to travel in record numbers for the holidays, with 107.3 million expected to board planes, trains, and automobiles this season.

Starting Saturday, Dec. 23, and continuing through Mon., January 1, AAA forecasts a 3.1 percent increase in travel from the year-ago period, marking a ninth straight year of increasing year-end holiday travel.

The majority of those traveling, or 97.4 million Americans, will get to their holiday destinations by hitting the road, a 3 percent increase from 2016, according to the travel and motoring club.

“More expensive gas prices are not swaying holiday revelers to stay home,” Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, travel and publishing, said in a statement. “In fact, across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and we project the same for the year-end holiday period.” 

Air travel will be the option for 6.4 million people, a 4.1 percent rise from last year and the fourth year straight for increasing air travel volumes.

Another 3.6 million Americans will spend part of the holidays on trains, buses, rails and cruise ships, a 2.2 percent hike for these sectors from the year-ago period.

Since 2005, the volume of Americans traveling for the holidays has increased by 21.6 million, or more than 25 percent.