Facts and figures for the holidays 2019: Shopping
Merry Christmas

Facts and figures for the holidays 2019: Travel

Southwest Airlines Airplane Sitting on the Tarmac in Sacramento

A record number of Americans  – 115.6 million – will travel this holiday season. That’s an increase of 3.9 percent over last year, or 4.3 million more people taking a holiday getaway, according to AAA.


More than 104 million of those holiday travelers will drive to their destinations and delays to be the worst on Thursday, Dec. 26, INRIX, a transportation analytics company, predicts. The number of Americans driving for the holidays is up 3.9 percent or 3.9 million people compared with last year.

Gas prices steadily declined in November. AAA expects most motorists will see gas prices drop before the New Year, but gas prices will likely be slightly more expensive than last December’s national gas price average of $2.37.

Air travel

With 4.9 percent 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 trains, buses, and cruise ships will reach 3.81 million, 3 percent more than last year.

Popular destinations

Theme parks in Orlando and southern California, other warm-weather cities, and the popular holiday destination New York City top the list of 10 most popular destinations in the United States for the year-end holidays, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:

  1. Orlando
  2. Anaheim
  3. Honolulu
  4. Kahului, Maui
  5. Las Vegas
  6. Fort Lauderdale
  7. New York City
  8. Miami
  9. Tampa
  10. Phoenix


The holidays can be a stressful time. AAA offers these tips to help prevent road rage:

  • Don’t offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing other drivers to use their brakes, or turn the steering wheel in response to something you’ve done.
  • Be tolerant and forgiving: The other driver may be having a bad day. Assume that it’s not personal.
  • Don’t respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle, and contact 9-1-1 if needed.


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