AAA: Record Number of Marylanders to Get Away for Holidays - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

AAA: Record Number of Marylanders to Get Away for Holidays

Posted: Dec 18, 2017 7:49 AM Updated:

TOWSON, Md.- AAA Mid-Atlantic projects nearly 2.3 million Marylanders will travel for the year-end holiday period from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1, reflecting a 3.2 percent increase over 2016. That is the highest volume on record for this holiday season since 2001, when AAA began forecasting holiday travel volume.

Maryland’s forecast mirrors the nationwide trend, as a record number of Americans, more than 107 million are expected to get away, a 3.1 percent increase.

This year’s forecast also reflects the ninth consecutive year of growth since 2009, after holiday travel declined very slightly in 2008 during the Great Recession. For the fifth consecutive year, Maryland’s travel volume is anticipated to exceed 2 million travelers, according to AAA.

“Because the year-end holiday travel period always encompasses two weekends, travel volume is the highest of all travel holiday weekends throughout the year,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, manager of public and government afairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “This year, AAA’s forecast reflects a record-breaking volume of travelers thanks to a strong economy and labor market that are generating rising incomes and confident consumers. Marylanders are willing to open up their wallets not only for holiday shopping, but to spend on travel this holiday season, as well.”

AAA said that nearly 2.1 million Marylanders, 91 percent of travelers, intend to drive to their destination, a 3.1 percent increase over last year’s holiday.  

“Despite gas prices being approximately six percent higher than last year at this time, road trips will rule as is typical with holiday getaways,” said Averella.  “This is the second consecutive year, where over two million Marylanders will drive to their destination. Typically, the year-end holiday ties with Thanksgiving in generating the highest percentage share of auto travelers compared to the other major holiday weekends.”

As of Sunday, Dec. 17, Maryland’s average price was $2.42 per gallon, which reflects a 2 cent decrease from last week and a 9 cent price drop from last month, but a 13 cent increase over last year’s price on this date.

Last year, Marylanders paid an average price of $2.30 per gallon for regular gasoline on Christmas Day and an average of $2.34 on New Year’s Eve. 

The number of Marylanders taking to the skies is projected to grow at the highest percentage compared to the other modes of travel.
 
“At an increase of 3.8 percent, air travel is outpacing overall year-end holiday travel growth, as over 126,000 state residents, intend to fly to their destination compared to 2016,” said Averella.
 

Travel by other modes, including bus, rail and cruise ship is expected to experience significant growth for this holiday as well, with an increase of 3.5 percent.

Based on last year’s figures, AAA Mid-Atlantic anticipates coming to the aid of over 49,000 disabled motorists in the club’s five-state and Washington, D.C. region during the 10-day holiday period, with an estimated 13,000 of those motorists in Maryland. Tows, dead batteries, and flat tires are the primary reasons for emergency roadside service.
 
AAA recommends that motorists check the condition of their battery and tires, and pack a winter emergency kit in their vehicles before heading out on a holiday getaway.
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