More Americans to travel over the holidays

@CNNMoney December 14, 2011: 10:46 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Despite continued worries about the economy, more Americans are expected to hit the highway this holiday season.

Travel group AAA said Wednesday it expects 91.9 million Americans -- about 30% of the population -- is expected to travel at least 50 miles from home during the 11-day year-end holiday season. That's up 1.4% from a year ago and the second highest travel volume in the past ten years.

AAA defines the holiday season as Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 to Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. Peak travel volume was hit in the 2006-2007 holiday season, when 93.7 million people traveled.

"It's a positive sign for the travel industry," said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services, in a statement. "As our lives get busier, it is so important to create opportunities for the rest and rejuvenation that result from vacation travel and connecting with family and friends, especially during the holidays."

Ways to save on last-minute holiday travel

The majority -- about 91% -- of travelers are expecting to hit the roads by automobile, a 2.1% increase from a year ago. That comes in face of high prices at the pump, with gas prices 29 cents higher than a year ago.

On the other hand, air travel is expected to decline slightly, in the wake of an anticipated 21% increase in holiday airfares over last year.

About 5.4 million travelers expect to fly during this year's holiday period, a 9.7% decline from a year ago, AAA said. That makes this year's air travel volume the seventh lowest in the past ten years.

AAA found that 59% of people expecting to travel over the holidays feel that the economy has either had no impact on their plans or that it has even improved their financial situation. The remaining 41% said they would be forced to limit their travel plans because of economic worries. To top of page

Help! We need a makeover
Young dad, $15,000 in credit card debt
Readers' Choice

Carlos Rodriguez is trying to rid himself of $15,000 in credit card debt, while paying his mortgage and saving for his son's college education.

$400,000 portfolio, too many holdings
Readers' Choice

Susan Carson and Laura DeLallo make $225,000 and have half a million in retirement savings, but their sprawling portfolios is proving hard to manage.

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
  • -->

    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.