A record number of travelers will be setting off for holiday visits and vacations this year.
AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1.
This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year. 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. Since 2005, total year-end holiday travel volume has grown by 21.6 million, an increase of more than 25 percent.
“The vast majority of this year’s holiday journeys will be road trips on our state’s and nation’s highways, so we’re reminding people to make sure both their cars and their cards – AAA membership cards – are ready,” said Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “Some simple yet important car maintenance, especially with batteries and tires, can prevent you from being stranded during your holiday road trip. But if a breakdown happens, our AAA roadside service will be available to help.”
AAA Kansas provides this snapshot – by the numbers — of some of AAA’s key travel forecast projections, latest gas prices, car maintenance tips and road trip recommendations for the year-end 2017 holiday travel period:
107.3 million – The record number of Americans nationwide who will journey away from home this holiday season, a 3.1 percent increase over last year.
8.7 million – Number of people in the West North Central Region (in which Kansas is included, along with Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota) who will take year-end holiday week trips, a 2.8 percent increase over 2016 and the largest number of travelers on record for this holiday period.
2,400 – Number of motorists that AAA Kansas Roadside Assistance expects to rescue during the year-end 2017 travel period from December 23 through January 1, 2018.
901,600 – Number of motorists nationwide that AAA expects to rescue with roadside assistance this Thanksgiving weekend, with the primary reasons being battery-related issues, flat tires and lockouts.
90 – Percent of all travelers nationally – 97.4 million – who are planning a driving road trip, an increase of 3 percent over last year
20 & 21 – December dates when drivers can expect the greatest amount of traffic suggestion, especially in larger metro areas and between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and, when commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.
6.4 million – Number of travelers nationwide who will fly to their holiday destination. With a 4.1 percent increase over last year, air travel is the mode of travel that will see the largest growth this year.
$165 – Average price for a round-trip flight for the top 40 domestic routes
5 – Top 5 destinations for the year-end 2017 holidays: Orlando, Florida; Anaheim, California; Cancun, Mexico; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Kahului (Maui), Hawaii.
11 – Percent increase in daily car rental price from this time in 2016. Travelers can expect to spend $74/day, the highest rate for the year-end travel period since 2013.
2014 – Last year that drivers faced December gas prices as high as this year.
$2.43 – National gas price average as of 12/18/17, 12 cents less than one month ago and 19 cents more than a year ago.
$2.25 – Average Kansas price for a gallon of gas as of 12/18/17.
8 – Kansas’ rank of states with the largest gas price decline in the past month. Kansas’ average per-gallon price has fallen 16 cents in the past month.
$2.06 – 12/18/16 gas price in Kansas.
11 – Kansas’ rank of states with the lowest gas prices in America as of 12/18/17.
$2.52 – Average gas price in Marysville, Kan. (Marshall County), the highest in the state as of 12/17/17.
67035 – ZIP code of Cunningham, Kan. (Kingman County), which boasts Kansas’ lowest average gas price this week at $2.10/gallon.