Record number of travelers expected this holiday, despite increasing gas prices

Dec 18, 2016

Credit Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Despite increasing gas prices, AAA is projecting holiday travel to reach the highest level on record this year.

More than 103 million people are expected to travel over the Christmas holiday from Friday through Monday. This represents a 1.5 percent increase, or 1.5 million people, over last year.

The vast majority of travelers, 93.6 million people, will be taking road trips; about 6 million will fly; and close to 3.5 million travelers are expected to travel by train or bus.

Holiday travel has increased despite the fact that national average gas prices have increased for two weeks in a row, following OPEC’s Nov. 30 agreement to cut oil production. As of Friday, AAA reported the national average was 20 cents higher than last year at this time.

According to AAA, as of Friday, the national average gas price was $2.21 a gallon, up three cents over a week ago and about two cents a month ago.

The good news for the High Plains region is Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado ranked in the top 10 for lowest average gas prices, which are hovering around the $2 dollar per gallon mark.