LOS ANGELES — If you’re traveling over the holidays – you are far from alone. According to AAA, nearly one third of the country will be crowding the nation’s highways and airports between Christmas and New Year’s.
Mishou Sanchez will soon be leaving town for the holidays. And while she’s looking forward to spending christmas with her family – the trip from California to Florida isn’t so inviting. “Yeah, I mean it’s traveling through the holidays… it’s never fun.”
AAA projects holiday travel this year to be the highest ever on record with more than 103 million people expected to be in transit between Christmas Eve and January 2nd.
That’s 1.5 million more than last year, thanks in part to an stronger economy.
“We see that consumers are spending more,” says AAA spokesperson Tamra Johnson. “There’s an uptick in wages towards the tail end of the year. And also, we see that gas prices are still fairly low.”
AAA says 2016 will mark the eighth consecutive year of year-end holiday travel growth both on the ground and in the air.
It’s predicted more than 6 million travelers will take to the skies to reach their destination – the highest volume for air travel in more than 10 years.
But highways will see the overwhelming majority of holiday traffic. More than 93 million people are expected to travel by car.
” Las Vegas, NV and Orlando, Fl are top destinations,” Johnson says.
Sanchez is among those travelers heading to the airport next week. “I’m sure it’s going to be miserable,” she laughs.
Travel misery this year will have plenty of company.
Although gas prices are still low, experts say drivers can expect it to keep going up in the coming weeks into next year.
(Chris Martinez, CBS News)