AAA expects busy travel season for year-end holidays

Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 5:39 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2022 at 7:51 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - AAA predicts that this year-end holiday season will be the third busiest travel period on record for Wisconsin.

In an estimate released Monday, AAA anticipates more than 2.2 million Wisconsinites will travel at least 50 miles from home from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2. AAA pointed out that it’s an increase of 72,000 people more than the previous year.

Over 2 million Wisconsin residents are predicted to take at least one holiday road trip. Around 90% of travelers nationwide will drive to their destinations, according to AAA.

AAA spokesperson Nick Jarmusz explained that holiday road trippers will save money on their travels. The state average for gasoline has dropped 80 cents per gallon in the last month, with the average on Monday coming in at $2.85 per gallon.

“Since most Americans have already made their holiday travel plans, these plunging pump prices may not necessarily lead to more auto travelers,” Jarmusz said. “What we often see instead is consumers reallocating the added savings, spending more on hotels, shopping and dining out.”

If you are traveling by car, transportation analytics and insights provider INRIX expects Tuesday, Dec. 27, to be the single busiest travel day. Other days predicted to have the heaviest traffic are Dec. 23, Dec. 28, and Jan. 2. AAA recommended that drivers leave early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid hitting traffic.

AAA added that air travel has seen a 14% increase in the last year and said 7.2 million Americans are expected to fly to their destination. Despite higher airline ticket prices, flight demand has increased. Car rental and hotel prices were also up this year.

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