AAA predicts holiday travel to increase

AAA predicts holiday travel to increase Christmas-New Year's holiday travel should increase by more than 2 percent from last year as Americans continue to fly in increasing numbers, according to AAA.

AAA estimates that 59.6 million American will travel 50 miles or more from home this Christmas-New Year's, up about 2.5 percent from the 47.3 who drove a year ago.

Another 8.3 million, or 14 percent of holiday travelers, plan to go by airplane, up 2 percent from the 8.1 million who flew last year. A projected 2.8 million vacationers (5 percent) will go by train, bus or other modes of transportation.

Auto travelers will find gas prices about 10 cents higher than they were a year ago over the holiday period. The nationwide average price of gasoline today is about $1.48 per gallon. While gas prices today are higher than they were a year ago, they have actually fallen in the past few weeks since Thanksgiving. The average price of gasoline in South Dakota today is at $1.51, with Sioux Falls prices averaging $1.41 and Rapid City prices about $1.56 per gallon.

The AAA holiday travel projections are based on a Travel Industry Association national survey of 1,300 adults.

AAA is a not for profit federation of more than 80 clubs providing 46 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA South Dakota has offices in Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Madison, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Spearfish, Sioux Falls (3), Vermillion, Watertown and Yankton.

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