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The day after Christmas won’t be so merry and bright for travelers, as Dec. 26 is expected to be the worst day of the year for delays and congestion on the roads, according to a report from AAA.
Between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1, more than 115 million people— a 4 percent increase from last year— are expected to travel for the holidays, the most travelers ever on record, AAA said.
“Holiday cheer is at an all-time high this year, with unemployment at historically low levels, and noted improvements in both disposable income and household net worth,” Paula Twidale, vice president of AAA Travel, said in a news release. “Travelers should be getting used to crowded highways and airports, as this marks the eighth straight year of new record-high travel volumes for the year-end holidays.”
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Air travel will see nearly 5 percent growth in 2019 compared to previous years — the biggest increase in travel volume during the year-end holidays since 2003, AAA said. More than 6.9 million Americans are expected to fly this holiday season.
While Dec. 22 is the busiest travel day for airlines, flying out on Dec. 26 will cost you the most. The day after Christmas has the highest ticket prices with the average price at $692, AAA said.
More than 104 million people are expected to be on the roads this season, with drive times doubling or even tripling in some areas as people make their way home after the holidays. Areas like Houston are expected to see their heaviest congestion on Friday, with delays expected increase by 1.8 times, AAA said.
AAA expects to rescue more than 850,000 motorists from the roadside— with dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts creating the most car trouble for travelers.
Road rage can also be an issue for holiday travelers, with the congestion adding to normal holiday stress, AAA said. To avoid getting involved in an incident, AAA recommends maintaining a cool head, being tolerant and forgiving and not responding to other drivers.
Taylor Pettaway is a breaking news reporter and general assignment writer. Read her on our breaking news site, MySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com | email@example.com | @TaylorPettaway