According to AAA Travel, more than 109 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the upcoming winter holidays. Reduced travel restrictions should lead to a 34% increase in the total number of travelers taking a road trip between mid-December and early January.
This year’s travel numbers amount to 92% of the total number of travelers in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Air travel will increase by 184% compared to 2020 levels.
About 100 million Americans plan to travel by car this year. Although gas prices average $1.25 per gallon more than last year at this time, most people traveling a couple of hundred miles or fewer will drive.
About six million travelers will board a plane to their holiday destinations. Three million people will travel by bus, train or cruise ship.
People who canceled their 2020 trips want to see their friends and families this year. Most travelers have considered COVID-19 in their plans, including the new omicron variant with its increased contagiousness but potentially milder course of illness.
Thanks to widespread vaccination, more people simply feel comfortable about gathering with other vaccinated people. In addition to visiting family and friends, many people arranged vacations at amusement parks.
Top travel destinations for 2021’s holiday season include Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego and Maui in the western half of the United States and Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa and New York City on the East Coast.
AAA encourages travelers to consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for updated guidance, requirements and recommendations based on their destinations.