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Jenifer Moore
Public Affairs Specialist, OH
O: (513) 762-3105 ext. (5503105)
C: (513) 401-4911

CINCINNATI, OH (December 21, 2017) -- Motorists are seeing gas prices fluctuate just before the holiday as 4.1 million Ohioans plan to travel by car – a 3.6 percent increase over last year. AAA predicts 4.5 million Ohioans will spend the holiday away from home – that’s 154,600 more travelers than last year. Holiday travel this year is record-setting, in fact it’s the highest number of Ohio travelers ever recorded since AAA began tracking the travel index in 2001. Nationally, AAA expects that 107.3 million people will travel during the Christmas holiday season which begins December 23 and run through January 1.

The national average gas price is $2.42; Ohio’s average gas price is $2.29; Prices in neighboring states: Michigan ($2.51) and Indiana ($2.47). For the latest on gas prices, check out AAA’s website.

Coming in second is air travel with 6.4 million people nationwide traveling by plane, a 4.1 percent increase and the fourth year of consecutive air travel volume increases. Ohioans have also selected air travel as their second preferred mode of transportation with nearly 239,000 expected to travel by air this year.

“Across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and we project the same for the year-end holiday period. We’ve seen the strong economy and growing consumer confidence fuel holiday travel all year long,” says Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman.

AAA encourages motorists to have their vehicle battery, tires and fluids checked prior to hitting the road. AAA offers free preventative maintenance checks at all AAA Bob Sumerel Tire and Service locations. Appointments are not required and you do not have to be a member.

AAA also encourages members to check the status of their membership. “Winter is officially here,” continues Moore. “It is important for motorists to make sure their membership is up to date, as it will be needed to contact AAA Roadside Assistance for help.”

Additional Travel Tips from AAA:

If traveling by plane:

Do not forget your ID. Remember you are permitted to carry through the security checkpoint small amounts of liquids, gels and aerosols in containers of 3 ounces or less. All liquids should fit comfortably into a 1 quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag. Each passenger is permitted to bring 1 plastic zip-top bag.

If traveling by trains, bus or cruise:

Much like air travel, photo identification, passports or other accepted travel documents are required. You should also add an ID tag to all off your bags. Review all of your boarding passes and documents to make sure your name is spelled correctly and that it exactly matches what's on your ID; if it's wrong, alert your travel agent immediately. Check that your birth date is correct, too.


Holiday Headache Hotspots

For the 97.4 million Americans traveling by automobile, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, in collaboration with AAA, predicts travel times during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the normal trip. 

Based on historical and recent travel trends, INRIX expects drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week – on Thursday, Dec. 21 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.

“With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in major metros,” says Dr. Graham Cookson, chief economist & head of research at INRIX. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak times altogether or consider alternative routes.”


Worst Days/Times to Travel

Source: INRIX

Metro Area

Worst Day for Travel

Worst Time for Travel

Delay Multiplier

Washington, DC

Thursday, Dec. 21

3:00 - 6:00 PM


Boston, MA

Thursday, Dec. 21

2:30 - 4:30 PM


Atlanta, GA

Thursday, Dec. 21

4:30 - 6:30 PM


Detroit, MI

Thursday, Dec. 21

3:00 - 5:30 PM



Lockouts, flat tires to strand nearly one million motorists 

 The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations, and AAA expects to rescue nearly one million (901,600) motorists.  Car battery-related issues, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA is called for roadside assistance over the holidays. For members in need of roadside assistance, download the AAA Mobile app, visit or call 1-800-AAA-HELP. For added convenience, Wazers can now request AAA roadside assistance directly from the Waze app by tapping the Report menu. 

About the AAA travel forecast:
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 year-end holiday travel forecast is available here.

About INRIX:
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.


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