PROVIDENCE – Approximately 94.5 million Americans will travel from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of 0.6 percent compared with last year, AAA Southern New England reported Tuesday.
The 2013 holiday travel projection marks the fifth consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume ever forecast for the 12-day period between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1.
In New England, holiday travel is expected to rise 0.7 percent, with 4 million people, or 27.6 percent of all New Englanders, planning to travel during the end of the year.
In 2012, 94 million people nationwide traveled for the holidays.
“While economic growth has stagnated and consumer confidence has fallen, Americans will not be Scrooges when it comes to traveling this year,” said Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Southern New England’s senior vice president of public and government affairs. “Of all the travel holidays, the year-end holiday season remains the least volatile, as Americans will not let economic conditions dictate their travel plans to celebrate the holidays.”
In addition, AAA predicted an increase in median spending for the holiday – projected at $765 per traveler this year, compared with $759 in 2012 – and a 1.4 percent drop in air travel. Last year 5.61 million Americans traveled by air, while this year AAA expects 5.53 million.
Ninety-one percent of Christmas-season travelers, or 85.8 million people, will travel by automobile, AAA said, and one in four have planned road trips for the holiday.
According to a survey of intended travelers, the average distance traveled by Americans during the holiday season will be 805 miles, an increase of 45 miles over last year’s average of 760 miles.