Here's When Holiday Travel Delays Will Be the Worst

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"Across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend - Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving - and we project the same for the year-end holiday period", says Amy Parmenter, a spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford.

About 97.4 million Americans are expected to travel by automobile of a total of 107.3 million Americans expected to travel during the year-end holiday period December 23 through January 1.

In a potential indication of future demand and discretionary spending for the holidays, consumer prices for all energy commodities are up 16.4 percent from previous year.

2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel.

The strong economy and growing consumer confidence has fueled the growth in holiday travel, despite the most expensive year-end gas prices since 2014, according to AAA.

"Overall, our research shows that Americans are doing better than previous year and want to go somewhere for the holidays", said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, AAA Travel.

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This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with previous year. Graham Cookson, chief economist and head of research at INRIX, a company that provides navigation and traffic estimates.

Travel Tip: Try to avoid traveling through major cities during peak travel times. Prices are expected to drop on average by another 5 cents per gallon before the year is out, bringing some relief to the estimated 97.4 million people taking to the road for the holiday season.

That would be 3.1% more than past year and an all-time record. Overall, competition, capacity over-expansion and lower oil prices are contributing to the decline. Bill Sutherland, AAA's senior vice president of travel and publishing, says that's a common theme he's seen in recent years.

That's despite gas prices being expected to jump almost 40 cents nationally from 2016, from $2.17 to $2.53 per gallon, according to the association's holiday forecast [PDF], produced by IHS Markit.

Air travel will be the option for 6.4 million people, a 4.1 percent rise from last year and the fourth year straight for increasing air travel volumes.

Vehicle rentals have increased year-over-year, AAA said.

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