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Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

Holiday Travel Volume to Set All-Time Record, says AAA;

Locally, 1.2 Million Philadelphia-Area Residents to Travel


Nationally, 107 million to travel during the year-end holidays.


PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 14, 2017) ‘Tis the season for travel – and in record numbers!  AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates more than 1.2 million Philadelphia-area residents will travel 50 miles or more away from home for the year-end holidays, a 3.2 percent increase over 2016.  The year-end holiday period is defined as Saturday, December 23 to Monday, January 1.


“AAA has seen the strong economy and growing consumer confidence fuel holiday travel all year long,” said Jana L. Tidwell, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Travel volume has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend in 2017 -- Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and we project the same for the year-end holiday period.”


Nationally, AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period.  This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year. 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel.


2017 Holiday Travel Tidbits

  • RECORD YEAR – 2017 will see the highest year-end travel volume on record.

  • NINTH consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel.

  • TRAVEL TIME – 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.

  • CONGESTION – INRIX expects drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week – Wed., Dec. 20 and Thurs., Dec. 21 in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.


2017 Projected Year-End Holiday Travelers

Philadelphia (5-county) Area





Total Population


2017 Travelers


Percent of population traveling


Percent change vs. 2016



(5-county) TOTAL











(5-county) Auto


90.3% of people travel by car









(5-county) Air


6.7% of people travel by air



















Auto, Air & Other














90.3% of people travel by car











6.7% of people travel by air


















National TOTAL


325.6 million*


107.3 million






National Auto



90.7% of people travel by car


97.4 million






National Air



5.9% of people travel by air


6.4 million






*U.S. Census Bureau/IHS Global Insight


Philadelphia-Area Year-End Travel 2017

  • Road trip ready: 90.3 percent of Philadelphia-area travelers – over one million – will hit the road for the holidays, a 3.2 percent increase over last year.

  • Fueling up: The Philadelphia 5-county area gas price average is $2.69 (Wednesday), 24 cents higher than Christmas Day 2016 ($2.45/gallon).

  • Fuller skies: 82,000 Philadelphia-area travelers will take to the skies for the holidays, an increase of 3.9 percent compared to 2016.

  • Alternate travel: Travel by trains and other modes (including buses and cruises) is expected to increase slightly (2%) to 37,000 travelers.


National Year-End Travel 2017

  • Road trip ready: 90.7 percent of all travelers – 97.4 million – are planning a holiday road trip, an increase of 3 percent over last year.
  • Fueling up: Even though motorists will pay the highest year-end gas prices since 2014, the vast majority of holiday travelers are still planning to hit the road. Today’s gas average is $2.45 (Wednesday), 17 higher than Christmas Day 2016. The good news is that AAA does expect the average to drop at least another five cents by year-end, saving motorists a few pennies at the pump.

  • Fuller skies: 6.4 million people will travel by air, a 4.1 percent increase and the fourth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
  • Alternate travel: Travel by trains and other modes (including buses and cruises) is expected to increase 2.2 percent to 3.6 million travelers.


Download the AAA Mobile app before your holiday getaway
Before heading out on your year-end holiday road trip, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at


With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Inspected & Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.


Follow us on Twitter: @AAAPhillyNews

Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit

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