One-Third of Virginians to Travel this Holiday Season

| December 20, 2014 | 0 Comments | News

As expected, lower gas prices will prompt more residents to travel this holiday season.

AAA Mid-Atlantic projects that 2.8 million people, more than one-third of Virginians, will travel 50 miles or more during the 13-day period from Dec. 23 to Jan. 4, an increase of 3.5% from last year.

traffic jamThis marks the highest growth rate for the year-end holiday season since 2009 and the highest travel volume for the holiday period recorded by AAA (since 2001).

“Rising disposable income, an extended holiday period, and lower gas prices are boosting this year’s year-end holiday travel,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Gas prices are at the lowest level seen in more than five years, filling motorists’ stockings with extra holiday cash.”

According to AAA, Virginia motorists are paying an average $2.36 per gallon, which is the lowest level since September 2009.

Complimenting lower gas prices is the additional day that the calendar provides this year. Since Christmas Day lands on Thursday, extending the travel season by one day, it gives residents more flexibility in their travel plans.

“This flexibility makes it possible for more people to fit holiday travel into their schedules,” Meade said.

Furthermore, AAA forecasts air travel to fall by 0.6 percent from 2013, with 151,804 travelers taking to the skies.

“Average discounted round-trip airfares across 40 top domestic routes are expected to fall seven percent this year, to $186. This is influenced by the availability of discounted rates from low-cost carriers in several top markets,” she said.

© 2014, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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