AAA releases their 2017 holiday travel forecast


"Like Thanksgiving, most people traveling this month will be visiting family or friends, especially during the first part of the holiday", said Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Nevada.

The estimated total marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel, growing by 21.6 million since 2005.

Nationally, AAA is forecasting 107.3 million people will travel from December 23 to January 1, a 3.1 percent increase from past year and an all-time record for during the year-end holiday period.

AAA said 2017 will be the busiest year-end travel period on record, with a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume over 2016. That's based on historical and recent travel trends, the release said.

Of course, with holiday travel comes holiday traffic.

Additionally, 82 percent of Las Vegas residents who plan to travel said that their primary objective is to visit family, with the remainder planning leisurely trips for skiing, camping or sightseeing, Blasky said.

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"With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in major metros", said Dr. Graham Cookson, chief economist & head of research at INRIX.

Travel Tip: Try to avoid traveling through major cities during peak travel times.

The 90 percent of holiday travelers choosing to drive will find the most expensive year-end gas prices since 2014. Michigan's average price for a gallon of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline is around $2.49, up 20 cents from a year ago.

The North Dakota average stands at $2.49, 38 cents more than previous year.

Holiday airfares are almost 20 percent cheaper than a year ago.

Cheaper gas prices, airfare and hotel rates all contribute to the increase in travel. At $165, the average year-end holiday airfare for a round-trip ticket on the top 40 domestic routes is at a five-year low, according to AAA's Leisure Travel Index.