|AAA Texas predicts nine million Texans will travel during the year-end holiday period this year – a 2% increase from last year’s record number of travelers and a 6% decrease from 2019, the last year-end holiday period before the pandemic. Across the nation, AAA is projecting this year-end holiday travel period to be the second busiest on record, with 115.2 million travelers expected compared to 119.3 million in 2019.
The year-end holiday travel period is defined as the 10 days from Saturday, December 23, 2023, to Monday, January 1, 2024.
By the Numbers
“An impressive nine million Texans are gearing up to hit the roads, soar through the skies and set sail from cruise ports, all in the spirit of reuniting with loved ones this holiday season,” said Galen Grillo, Vice President and General Manger for AAA Texas. “Consumer demand for leisure travel has surged this year, and it appears that the momentum is set to carry on into 2024.”
This holiday season, many travelers are heading to warm weather destinations like Florida and the Caribbean, tourist hotspots like New York and Las Vegas, and European cities like London and Rome. Here are the top domestic and international year-end destinations based on AAA flight booking data.
Texans who drive to their holiday destinations will be getting some relief at the pump when filling up for their holiday getaways. Gas prices are averaging about 5-15 cents less per gallon than this time last year and have been trending lower since October, with all Texas major metro areas averaging less than $3.00 a gallon. To find the cheapest gas prices closest to your location, use the AAA Mobile app, and visit gasprices.aaa.com to find the average gas prices at your destination or calculate the estimated gas cost for your holiday trip.
· If traveling by automobile, make sure your vehicle maintenance is up-to-date and your tires and battery are in good condition. AAA Texas expects to respond to more than 46,000 calls for help in the Lone Star State over the year-end holiday travel period. If you need some help getting your vehicle road trip ready, visit AAA.com/AAR to find a reputable AAA-Approved Auto Repair facility near you.
· Air travelers should plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours ahead of time for international departures. AAA Texas recommends people who drive themselves to the airport to reserve a parking space to make sure you have one, download your airline’s app and check-in for your flight at home to avoid long lines at kiosks in the terminal.
INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, says there will be several days of potentially bad traffic during the 10-day holiday period. Saturday, December 23, and Thursday, December 28, will be the most congested days on the road. INRIX also says Saturday, December 30, when many people will be heading back home from their holiday destinations or traveling for New Year’s Eve, will see an increase in traffic compared to a normal Saturday. The best times to hit the road are before lunchtime or after 7pm. About AAA
Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of 64 million members across North America, including 57 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA has to offer or to become a member, visit AAA.com.
Founded in 2004, INRIX pioneered intelligent mobility solutions by transforming big data from connected devices and vehicles into mobility insights. This revolutionary approach enabled INRIX to become one of the leading providers of data and analytics into how people move. By empowering cities, businesses, and people with valuable insights, INRIX is helping to make the world smarter, safer, and greener. With partners and solutions spanning across the entire mobility ecosystem, INRIX is uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology and transportation – whether it’s keeping road users safe, improving traffic signal timing to reduce delay and greenhouse gasses, optimizing last mile delivery, or helping uncover market insights. Learn more at INRIX.com.