A record number of Texans are expected to take to the highways, railways, waterways and skyways for the year-end holidays.
According to the American Automobile Association, more than 8.2 million Texans are expected to travel during the holiday travel period from Friday (Dec. 23) to Jan. 2. This represents a 0.2-percent increase, or 20,000 more people traveling, compared with last year. This comes despite one fewer travel day this holiday season.
The increase in holiday travel this year is being driven by additional consumer spending, a result of improvements in the labor market and rising wages, according to AAA officials. Additionally, low gas prices and increased consumer optimism will prompt more Americans than ever to set out on road trips, take to the skies, or board trains, buses and cruise ships to celebrate the holidays.
“’Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year more Texans will travel to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said AAA Texas Vice President of Branch Operations Rhonda Wilson in a statement. “Rising incomes and continued low gas prices should make for a joyous holiday travel season.”
More than 103 million Americans, also the most on record, are expected to travel for the year-end holidays. This represents a 1.5-percent increase, or 1.5 million more people traveling, compared with last year.
AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $27 billion at the gas pumps so far this year compared to the same period last year. Most U.S. drivers will pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62.