AAA: Gas prices, other expenses leads to only slight holiday travel increase

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) AAA estimates that 65.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Christmas-New Year’s holiday period.

An increase, but only barely from last year.

AAA expects a 0.7% increase from last year’s 64.7 million travelers.

And those 65 million travelers will have to deal with higher gas prices, higher airline tickets, and even higher hotel rates.

“Whether driving or flying, Americans face steep increases in their travel budgets during this Christmas-New Year’s holiday,” said Stephanie Milani, Public Affairs Specialist for AAA East Tennessee. “

Gas prices are averaging around $2.80/gallon in East Tennessee. That's about 70 cents more than last year.

Airfares ar averaging 16% more than last Christmas.

Approximately 53 million travelers expect to go by motor vehicle, a 0.9 percent increase from the 52.5 million who drove in 2006.

AAA expects 8.9 million Americans (13.7 percent of holiday travelers) to travel by airplane, a slight decrease of 0.3 percent from last Christmas holiday.

A projected 3.3 million travelers will go by train, bus, or other mode of transportation.