Travel expected for holidays

FARGO, N.D. (AAA) ‘Tis the season to spend with family members and friends, and this season Americans are traveling in record amounts.

AAA predictions 107.3 million people will take to airplanes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1.

This will be the highest year-end travel quantity on document and a 3.1 % growth in travel volume compared with previous year.

2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of holiday travel. Since 2005, overall yearlong holiday traveling volume has increased by 21.6 million, a growth of over 25 percent.

Through the year traveling has increased for each holiday weekend — Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Independence Day — along with AAA projects the same for its vacation period.

“Overall, our study indicates that Americans are doing better than a year ago and wish to move somewhere for the holidays,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, AAA Travel.

“Whether they are going home or visiting a new destination, then Americans have more funds to fund their travel plans, because of a stronger economy and growing consumer confidence.

By the Numbers

• All Travel Modes: 107.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or longer, which is 3.2 million over last year
• Automobiles: The vast majority of travellers (97.4 million) will reach the street, a three percent year-over-year increase
• Planes: 6.4 million people will travel by air, a 4.1 percent increase along with the fourth season of consecutive air travel quantity rises
• Trains, Buses, Rails and Cruise Ships: Travel across these businesses increases by 2.2 percent to 3.6 million
• Regional: The seven-state West North Central Region (North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota) will observe the greatest share of its inhabitants travel over the vacation. One in every four people in the area will travel through the vacation (40.1 %). Nationally, 32.9 % of the population is anticipated to travel.

Peak Congestion

For the 97.4 million Americans travel by automobile, INRIX, a worldwide transportation analytics firm, in collaboration with AAA, predicts travel times during the vacation week may be as much as three times more than the normal excursion.

Based on historical and recent travel trends, INRIX anticipates drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion before the vacation week — Wednesday, Dec. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 21 — at the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and blend with vacation travelers.

“Together with record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, motorists must be ready for flaws in major metros,” says Dr. Graham Cookson, chief economist & thoughts of research in INRIX. “Our advice to motorists is to prevent peak times completely or consider alternative routes.”

Travel Expenses

The gas prices will be found by the 90 percent of vacation travelers opting to drive . The current national average is2.44, which is 22 cents over last year.

The North Dakota average stands at $2.49, 38 cents over a year ago. AAA does expect the North Dakota typical to fall 10 cents or more by year long, saving drivers a couple of pennies at the pump.

Holiday airfares are almost 20 percent less costly than a year ago. At $165, the average end of year vacation airfare to get a yearlong trip to the 40 routes is in a reduced, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.

Normally, 2017 airfares are 5 percent less costly in comparison to 2016. In general, ability over-expansion rivalry and petroleum prices are currently leading to the decline.