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The best and worst times to travel for the holidays


traffic jam

Photo: Getty Images

After last year when few, if any, people traveled for the year-end holiday season, a new report suggests holiday travel is back, and if you are someone heading out for the holidays, just be prepared that you aren’t the only one.

  • According to the AAA, over 109 million folks will be traveling for the year-end holidays (December 23rd to January 2nd ).
  • That’s an increase of 34% from 2020, or 27.7 million more travelers.
  • Those numbers are still less than 2019, although they represent almost 92% of 2019 levels.

So, how is everyone getting where they’re going?

  • The worst headache for travelers will likely be on the roads, with over 100 million people expected to drive to their holiday destination, an increase from 78.5 mil last year.
  • Not that the airports won’t be bad as well. An estimated 6.4 million Americans are expected to take to the sky, which is a whopping 184% increase from last year, which was obviously low due to the pandemic.
  • Other modes of travel, including cruises, trains and buses, will see 2.9 million travelers, an increase from 0.98 mil last year.

Now if you are on of the over 100 million people driving to your holiday destination, you can expect to hit traffic.

  • INRIX predicts marginal delays on Christmas Day itself, but notes the worst time to travel will be Thursday, December 23rd from 12 to 6 pm, and Friday December 24th from 2 to 6 pm.
  • For New Year’s travel, December 31st from 2 to 4 pm will be the worst time on the roads.

Photo: Getty Images


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