Christine Delise
Sr. Public Relations Specialist, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361153)
C: (443) 244-7253
cdelise@aaamidatlantic.com

AAA Mid-Atlantic projects nearly 2.3 million Marylanders will travel for the year-end holiday period from Saturday, December 23 through Monday, January 1, reflecting a 3.2 percent increase over 2016, and the highest volume on record for this holiday season since 2001, when AAA began forecasting holiday travel volume. Maryland’s forecast mirrors the nationwide trend, as a record number of Americans, over 107 million are expected to get away, a 3.1 percent increase.

 

This year’s forecast also reflects the ninth consecutive year of growth since 2009, after holiday travel declined very slightly in 2008 during the Great Recession. For the fifth consecutive year, Maryland’s travel volume is anticipated to exceed two million travelers.

 

“Because the year-end holiday travel period always encompasses two weekends, travel volume is the highest of all travel holiday weekends throughout the year,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “This year, AAA’s forecast reflects a record-breaking volume of travelers thanks to a strong economy and labor market that are generating rising incomes and confident consumers. Marylanders are willing to open up their wallets not only for holiday shopping, but to spend on travel this holiday season, as well.”

 

                                                     2017 Projected Year-End Holiday Travel Volume - Maryland

Travel Mode

Estimated # of Marylanders Traveling

Percentage of Travelers

Increase/Decrease Compared to 2016

Auto

2,074,600

91%

+3.1%

Air

126,100

5%

+3.8%

Other Modes

85,500

4%

+3.5%

Total

2,286,200

--

+3.2%

 

 

Over 90 Percent Of Marylanders Will Take To The Roads Despite High Gas Prices

Nearly 2.1 million Marylanders, 91 percent of travelers, intend to drive to their destination, a 3.1 percent increase over last year’s holiday.

 

“Despite gas prices being approximately six percent higher than last year at this time, road trips will rule as is typical with holiday getaways,” commented Averella.  “This is the second consecutive year, where over two million Marylanders will drive to their destination. Typically, the year-end holiday ties with Thanksgiving in generating the highest percentage share of auto travelers compared to the other major holiday weekends.”

Today, Maryland’s average price is $2.42 per gallon, which reflects a two cents decrease from last week and a nine cents price drop from last month, but a 13 cents increase over last year’s price on this date.

 

Last year, Marylanders paid an average price of $2.30 per gallon for regular gasoline on Christmas Day and an average of $2.34 on New Year’s Eve.

 

Strong Growth In Air Travel And Other Modes

The number of Marylanders taking to the skies is projected to grow at the highest percentage compared to the other modes of travel. “At an increase of 3.8 percent, air travel is outpacing overall year-end holiday travel growth, as over 126,000 State residents, intend to fly to their destination compared to 2016,” commented Averella.

 

Travel by other modes, including bus, rail and cruise ship is expected to experience significant growth for this holiday as well, with an increase of 3.5 percent.

 

AAA Will Rescue Thousands This Holiday Period

Based on last year’s figures, AAA Mid-Atlantic anticipates coming to the aid of over 49,000 disabled motorists in the club’s five-state and Washington, D.C. region during the 10-day holiday period, with an estimated 13,000 of those motorists in Maryland. Tows, dead batteries, and flat tires are the primary reasons for emergency roadside service.

 

AAA recommends that motorists check the condition of their battery and tires, and pack a winter emergency kit in their vehicles before heading out on a holiday getaway.

 

Drivers should have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America or at one of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Car Care Centers, including eleven locations in Maryland.

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Mailing Address:
8600 LaSalle Road, Ste 639
Towson, MD 21286

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland.  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 AAA.com.

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