Record Number of Americans Taking Holiday Road Trips, AAA Says

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

There's no place like home for the holidays, but it's best not to wait until the last minute if you want to get there.

AAA reports more than 103 million Americans —  the most on record — are expected to travel for the year-end holidays.

This represents a 1.5% increase, or 1.5 million more people traveling, compared with last year, despite one fewer travel day this holiday season. (The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Dec. 23 to Jan. 2, 2017.)

Low gas prices and increased consumer optimism will prompt Americans to set out on road trips, take to the skies, or board trains, buses and cruise ships to celebrate the holidays, AAA said.

“Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans will travel to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said Marshall Doney, CEO of AAA.  "Rising incomes and continued low gas prices should make for a joyous holiday travel season."

The majority of travelers — 93.6 million people — will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5% over last year.

Air travel is expected to increase by 2.5%, with more than 6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations.

Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease slightly, to 3.5 million travelers.