Over 347,000 Delaware Residents to Travel for the Holidays

Wilmington – More than 347,000 Delawareans are projected to travel for the year-end holiday season, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.  AAA predicts slightly more than 103 million Americans—the most on record—will travel, representing a 1.5 percent increase, or 1.5 million more people traveling, compared with last year. This comes despite one fewer travel day this holiday season. The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Friday, December 23 to Monday, January 2, 2017.

2016 Projected Year-End Holiday Travelers Delaware

NUMBER OF TRAVELERS Total Population 2016 Travelers Percent of population traveling Percent change vs. 2015
Delaware TOTAL
Auto, Air & Other
945,934* 347,158 36.7% 2.2%
Delaware Auto 91.3% of people travel by car 316,888 33.5% 2.3%
Delaware Air 5.4% of people travel by air 18,919 2.0% 3.0%
National TOTAL 322.5 million* 103.1 million 32% 1.5%
91% of people travel by car 93.6 million 29% 1.5%
National Air 6% of people travel by air 6.1 million 1.9% 2.5%

*U.S. Census Bureau/HIS Global Insight

crash“Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans as well as Delawareans will travel to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said Ken Grant, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The travel increase is a result of improvements in the labor market and rising wages. Lower gas prices and increased consumer optimism are also prompting more Americans than ever to set out to celebrate the holidays.”

Most travelers will drive this holiday season
The vast majority of American travelers—93.6 million people—will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year. In the five county region, just over a million people will take to the roads. Nationally, air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent, with more than 6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations while in Delaware, close to 19,000 people will fly, a healthy increase of 3 percent.

Holiday gas prices slightly higher than last year, but lower than two years ago
AAA estimates that U.S. drivers have saved more than $27 billion at the gas pump so far this year compared to the same period last year. Yesterday’s gas average in Delaware was $2.24, about 29 cents higher than it was at Christmas last year but lower than the $2.50 price seen on Christmas Day in 2014.

AAA to rescue more than 980,000 motorists this holiday season
AAA expects to rescue more than 980,000 motorists over the 11-day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. During the same holiday travel period last year, AAA Mid-Atlantic rescued more than 2,100 Delaware motorists. Drivers should have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America.

For motorists who may encounter winter weather conditions during their holiday road trips, AAA recommends:

  • Check windshield wipers and inspect tires to ensure safe drivability before setting out.
  • Pack an emergency kit containing a snow shovel, flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cables, warning devices and extra warm clothing for everyone riding in the vehicle.
  • When driving, slow down and do not tailgate.
  • Leave following distances to a minimum of five to six seconds to allow additional braking room should a sudden stop become necessary.

Download the AAA Mobile app before a holiday getaway
Before setting out on a holiday trip, travelers should download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can help map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

About the travel forecast:
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS 2016 year-end holiday travel forecast can be found here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Source: AAA Mid-Atlantic