Defining the holiday travel period as Wednesday, December 23, 2015, through Sunday, January 3, 2016, AAA is forecasting a record 100.5 million travelers to wrap up 2015.
This will mark the first time projected year-end holiday travel season tops 100 million. It’s also a 17.3% increase above the recession-driven low of 2008.
Why the uptick? The last year has provided the lowest gas prices in nearly a decade, decreased unemployment and an expected increase in disposable income. While remaining cautious in their spending, it appears consumers are putting holiday travel high on their priority list.
If you’re traveling via the open road over the next several days, don’t forget your holiday travel basics:
- Ensure your vehicle’s routine maintenance is current. And just in case, make sure you have your roadside assistance information easily accessible. (It’s always better to be safe than sorry!)
- Keep an eye on the weather! Mother Nature has been playing some tricks on us this year and record highs are forecasted for much of the country. But it is December and Jack Frost has a habit of showing up when we least expect him. There’s nothing wrong with being prepared!
- Plan your route and share it with others. While you don’t want to advertise your travel plans on social media channels, letting the people you’re closest to know which roads you’ll be on is never a bad idea.
- Be patient. We all have somewhere to be and we’ll all get there – eventually. In the meantime, make the best of your travel time. Put away the electronics and play classic car games like I Spy or License Plates. Or have a sing-a-long.
I hope everyone out there enjoys safe and happy travels. Happy holidays, everybody!