AAA Expecting Record Number Of Holiday Travelers

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Heading out for the holidays. A record number of Americans and millions of Marylanders are expected to hit the roads for what could be the busiest holiday travel season ever.

Christie Ileto has more on what’s fueling the big boost.

More than 9 in 10 people will travel by car this season–and that means Marylanders, too. So why is everyone hitting the road? It has everything to do with falling prices at the pump.

Seven days until Christmas–and that means Mckel Hyppolite hits the road. His destination–New Jersey.

“Hopefully there won’t be too much traffic around this area,” he said.

Hyppolite will be one of 2.1 million Marylanders driving 50 miles or more this holiday. AAA says that is up almost five percent from last year.

“That is a record for year-end travel since AAA has been keeping track since 2001,” said Christine DeLise, AAA spokesperson.

So, why are we seeing record travel numbers? AAA says a stable economy, for one. And gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in five years, which is putting more drivers back on the road.

“They’re very cheap right now,” said Wanda Ford.

“You can spend more money on getting gifts for people and having a good time with them instead of stressing about the price of gas,” Courtney Willeford said.

Last December, the national average was $3.24 a gallon. That’s 69 cents higher than prices at the pump now.

“I’ll be out of town. More likely now because gas prices. It’s allowing me to travel without having to spend more money,” said Shawn Fitzmaurice.

Also, both Christmas and New Year fall later in the week, encouraging more people to take longer weekends.

Ileto: “When are you guys leaving?”

Willeford: “Probably on Christmas. Now that I think about it, we’ll probably going to take two cars.”

Marylanders hatch out their game plan, that, for most, means traveling by car to see family.

The holiday period is defined as Tuesday, December 23 through Sunday, January 4.

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