Nationally, record-breaking numbers of Americans plan to travel during the year-end holidays

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — AAA forecasts 107 million people, including 2.6 million in New Jersey, will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. This is the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year.

“More expensive gas prices aren’t swaying holiday travelers,” said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs for AAA Northeast. “In fact, across the board, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend and the same is projected for the year-end holiday period. The strong economy and growing consumer confidence has fueled holiday travel all year long.”

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TRAVEL BY THE NUMBERS

Automobile

Driving remains the most popular mode of travel for the year-end holidays:

  • New Jersey – 2,398,964 (90.2% of all travelers), a 3.3% increase from 2016.
  • Nationally – 97.3 million (90.7% of all travelers), a 3% increase from last year.

Air

  • New Jersey – 177,145 (6.7% of all travelers), a 4.1% increase from 2016.
  • Nationally – 6.36 million (5.9% of all travelers), a 4.1% increase from last year.

Train, Bus, Watercraft or Other Mode

  • New Jersey – 83,957 (3.1% of all travelers), a 1.5% increase from 2016.
  • Nationally – 3.6 million (3.4% of all travelers), a 2.2% increase from last year.

Holiday road-trippers will find the most expensive year-end gas prices since 2014. Today in New Jersey, drivers are paying an average of $2.49, 15 cents higher than last year ($2.34).

Average gas prices in NJ over the year-end holidays for the past five years:

2016: $2.30
2015: $2.00
2014: $2.31
2013: $3.29
2012: $3.27

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast is available here.