AAA offers travel planning resources
It’s the time of year when people gather with family to reflect on the end of the year and to prepare for the new year ahead. AAA Texas forecasts nearly 7.7 million Texans will leave home to celebrate the Year-End holidays – an increase of 2.4 percent over last year. The Year-End holiday travel period is an 11-day travel period, the longest of the year. AAA defines travel during this period as round trips of 50 miles or more beginning Sat., Dec. 22 through Tues., Jan. 1.
The Year-End holidays are different from holidays earlier in the year in that it is a much longer travel period. With a wider window for travel, individuals are willing to journey longer distances and spend a little more to share the last days of the year with family.
Overall travel during this holiday season will be up slightly across the state and nation despite the long and slow economic recovery. Market analysts say the improving economic conditions across the country are fueling the travel growth.
AAA Texas forecasts travel volume by automobile will be up and continue to be the primary mode of transportation during the Year-End holiday period.
- Automobile – 7.1 million Up 2.0%
- Air Travel – 346,585 Up 6.4%
- Other Travel (Trains, Buses, Cruise Ships) – 246,954 Up 9.8%
"As much as AAA Texas wishes everyone a happy holiday season we also wish them safe journeys," said AAA Texas Vice President Branch Operations, Rhonda Wilson. "Since most people will drive to their destinations, we remind them to map out their trips ahead of time, obey the speed limits, wear their seat belts and avoid distractions while behind the wheel."
Texas travelers plan to log an average of 749 miles round-trip during the upcoming holiday period. People surveyed in the Lone Star State expect to spend an average of $744. Families will be spending most of their budget, about 22 percent, on shopping.
AAA offers travel planning resources:
- eTourBook guides for top North American destinations are free to members at AAA.com/ebooks.
- AAA Mobile app for iPhone and Android devices uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, find current gas prices and nearby member discounts and access AAA roadside assistance. Travelers can learn about the AAA Mobile app and AAA Mobile Web at AAA.com/mobile.
- On AAA.com, travelers can find thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner or the searchable Travel Guides at AAA.com/Travel.
- To decrease the likelihood of a breakdown, AAA recommends motorists have their vehicle serviced regularly based on the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. Look for the AAA Approved Auto Repair sign at local auto repair facilities, or search for a nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair shop online at: www.AAA.com/repair.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.