AAA projects slight drop in holiday travel AAA estimates 59.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Christmas/New Year's, compared to 59.9 million last year � a drop in overall travel of about 1 percent.
Approximately 45.9 million are projected to travel by automobile, which is down 3 percent from last year; the remaining 11.2 million plan to travel by airplane, which is about 7 percent more than the 10.5 million during the same period last year. An additional two million are expected to take a trip by train, bus or other mode of transportation, the same number as last year.
Although travel may be down slightly from a year ago, this Christmas/New Year's is expected to be the third heaviest traveled in at least the last nine years, according to AAA. A record 63 million people traveled over the 1995 holiday period.
The nationwide average price of gasoline Dec. 10 was about $1.38 per gallon. This is up about 16 cents over the same period last year. The average price of gasoline in South Dakota Dec. 10 was also at $1.38, with Sioux Falls prices averaging $1.29 and Rapid City prices at about $1.48 per gallon.
AAA's holiday travel projections are based on a Travel Industry Association survey of 1,300 adults.
AAA is a not for profit federation of more than 80 clubs with more than 1,000 offices providing 43 million members in the United States and Canada with travel, insurance, financial and auto-related services. AAA South Dakota has offices in Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Madison, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Spearfish, Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Watertown and Yankton.