The most wonderful time of the year can be the most stressful time of the year if families plan to travel this holiday season.
AAA Carolinas has examined travel trends and predicts this year’s travel to be rather busy compared to previous years.
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The year-end holiday period is defined as Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1.
How many overall are traveling?
A record breaking 4.5 million Carolinians plan to travel during the year-end holiday season this year, which is a 3.1 percent increase from last year. AAA Carolinas forecasts approximately 3.1 million North Carolinians and 1.4 South Carolinians will travel by automobiles, planes, trains and other modes of transportation.
How many by car?
The majority of travelers will be driving to their destinations, with close to 2.8 million North Carolinians and just over 1.3 million South Carolinians hitting the roads over the 10 day holiday period.
How much is it costing per gallon?
Carolinians driving to their holiday destinations will encounter higher gas prices than last year. North Carolina’s current average is $2.31, compared to $2.18 last year. With the lowest average in the nation, South Carolina is currently at $2.16 compared to last year’s $2.03.
Where are they going?
An estimated 170,000 North Carolinians and 85,000 South Carolinians will travel by air during the year-end holiday. Many Carolinians are choosing to travel to vacation destinations during this period. The top year-end holiday destinations based on AAA Carolinas traveling bookings are:
Western Caribbean Cruise
Eastern Caribbean Cruise
New York City