Dearborn, Mich. (WLNS):
More than 3.6 million Michiganders are expected to travel during the holidays this year.
A record-breaking 115.6 million across the country are expected to travel between Sunday Dec. 21 and Wednesday Jan.1. That’s the most amount of people hitting the roads and taking to the skies since 20 years ago. It’s also up by 3.9% since last year.
“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,” Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA-The Auto Club Group said. “Travelers in Michigan should be getting used to crowded highways and airports, as this marks the sixth straight year of new record-high travel volumes for the year-end holidays.”
And here’s how all of the Michiganders plan to travel:
- Automobiles: 3.3 million Michigan residents, the most on record, will drive to their holiday destinations.
- Planes: With 3.8% growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the year-end holidays, with 201,773 Michiganders expected to fly –the most since 2004.
- Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel by these other modes will reach 112,687, 3% more than last year.
In preparation for holiday travel, AAA is reminding motorists to take their vehicles in for a maintenance check prior to hitting the road. More than 853,000 motorists nationwide call AAA for assistance on the road during the holidays. Most of the calls are due to dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts.
When it comes to traveling at the airport, AAA reports Dec. 22 as the single busiest air travel day of the holiday week. The organization says travelers pay an average of $593 to $639 for an airplane ticket. The lowest average price per ticket falls on Christmas Eve with a price tag of $527. Christmas Eve is also the day with the fewest crowds of the holiday week.
After Christmas rolls around, ticket prices surge back up with Dec. 26 taking the place of most expensive ticket price of $692.
Air fare is just one of the many expenses travelers will drop their money on — car rental rates are expected to reach a 10-year high. That means car renters will pay an average of $84 daily, which is 11% more than last year and the highest price in a decade.
Of the places people have chosen to vacation this holiday, the top cities are as follows.
- Orlando, FL
- Anaheim, CA
- Honolulu, HI
- Kahului, Maui, HI
- Las Vegas, NV
- Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- New York, NY
- Miami, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Phoenix, AZ
Many travelers are also seeking warm weather and sandy beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean this holiday season. Cancun, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Los Cabos, Mexico; and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, are AAA’s top five international destinations for the year-end holidays.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the year-end holiday travel period is defined as the 12-day period from Saturday, Dec. 21 to Wednesday, Jan. 1.