Monday, December 24, 2007

We're Driving More This Holiday Season

Despite higher gas prices for our vehicles and more expensive airline tickets, the AAA estimates more of us will be travelling at least 50 miles from home this holiday season than last.

It's just a 0.7 percent increase -- from 65.2 million last year to 64.7 million this year. That percentage increase is a good bit less than the price increase we are seeing for gas and airfare.

According to the AAA, airfares averaging 16% more than last Christmas have a double-whammy. Since airfare bargains are harder to find, and many of us are deciding to drive, instead of fly, to grandma's house, despite $3 a gallon gas.

Just so you know -- gasoline costs an average of 70 cents a gallon more this holiday than last.

More than 80% of all holiday travelers will be in their vehicles on the road this week. That's a total of 53 million, and all of them will be on the same road as you are.

And another projected 3.3 million will traveling by train, bus or what the AAA called "other mode of transportation", whatever that is. Broomstick? Segway?

Because of those more expensive airfares, due in part to higher jet fuel prices the airlines have to pay, just under nine million of us are travelling by plane this week. Hotel prices are up, too, by as much as 9% since last year's holiday week, according to the AAA.

It all adds up to a lot of people on the move this week, and pay more for the privelege.