Madison, Wis. – AAA is expecting more people will travel this December than ever before. That's an estimated one-third of Americans.
Low gas prices might be one of the best presents going into Christmas. The average in Madison is at about $2.18 per gallon this morning. That’s about 10 cents cheaper than this time a year ago.
AAA estimates 102 million people to pack up the cars and hit the road this holiday season. That's 4.4-percent higher than last year. Here in Wisconsin, 2.1 million of you will be traveling by car. That's up nearly 5-percent over last year.
AAA finds many factors motivating more Americans to hit the road for the holidays.
"People have extra income. There's lower unemployment, especially here in Wisconsin. It's just giving people the flexibility in their budgets to plan a trip, whether it's a leisure trip and they're taking advantage of extra time off or they're heading to see their family, which is what we expect most of this year-end holiday travel is about," said Nick Jarmusz with AAA.
As far as air travel, 6.7 million people are expected to take to the skies. AAA says that's the highest number in 15 years. In Wisconsin, that accounts to more than 123,000 of you who will travel by plane, up 4.3-percent from last year.
Because Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, AAA expects Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd, as well as Wednesday the 26th to be the busiest travel days. Christmas Eve and Christmas will see lighter crowds.
With more people traveling, officials say it's important to be patient and plan for some extra commute time.
AAA expects to help around 960,000 motorists on the side of the road during this time. Officials say it’s important that your vehicle is up to date on the latest maintenance.
There are other ways you can save pennies at the pump, too. AAA and others have programs available through specific gas stations that will give you a cheaper price of gas.
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