Hitting the Road For The Holidays? You Won’t Be Alone [POLL/AUDIO]
More than 2.2 million New Jerseyans will be traveling 50 miles or more from home for Christmas and New Year's celebrations from December 22 through January 2, a one percent increase over last year.
"Nationally, we're up about one percent as well," said Tracy Noble, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman. "It's one of those holidays where regardless of circumstances people travel to get home."
Most are traveling by automobile. "About 90 percent of travelers will be hitting the road. In New Jersey, we have more than two million of those 2.2 million traveling by automobile. That sticks with the national trend where we've got 93.3 million traveling and 84.4 million traveling by automobile. So, a lot of people will be on the roadways," said Noble. "Air travel will be up slightly as well. Air fares are actually about four percent lower this year than they were this time last year. In New Jersey, about 150,000 folks will be taking to the skies, which is about seven percent of all travelers. That's up about 4.3 percent compared to 2011."
The national average price of gasoline will drop slowly through the end of the year and average between $3.20 and $3.40 a gallon by New Year's Day. "It's good news that gas prices are coming down. But, even if they were escalated, I don't think that would stop people from going home for the holidays," said Noble. "Unfortunately, New Jersey's average is a little higher than the national average around $3.32 cents per gallon, but we're still doing fairly well compared to our neighbors in Pennsylvania and New York."
This year, people will be traveling a little further than they did last year. "Last year, the average trip was about 726 miles. This year, we're looking at 760 miles, so we're talking about an extra hour or so in the car," said Noble.