CHARLESTON, W.Va. – If you haven’t reached your holiday destination be prepared for a lot of company on the roads or in the air.
AAA predicts 94.5 million people will travel 50 or more miles this Christmas to see family and friends. Travel is expected to increase this holiday for the fifth year in a row making it the highest travel volume ever for Christmas and New Year’s.
“It looks like people are really going to take advantage of the season this year and get out and see their relatives or even take a trip and get somewhere warmer,” Christine Rollyson with AAA in Charleston said Monday.
The hottest destination vacations this holiday are Orlando and Cancun, Mexico.
The 2008 recession slowed down holiday travel for a couple of years. However, Rollyson said the new trend is making it to grandma’s house no matter what the cost this holiday.
“More people travel increasingly every year,” Rollyson said. “I just think more people are really wanting to get out there and see their families and take some trips. They’re not going to let the economic situation dictate that.”
The good news is the price of gas is actually down a few cents this year compared to Christmas 2012. AAA reports the average price for a gallon of gas here in West Virginia is $3.26. A year ago that number was $3.34.
The AAA Fuel Guide shows a gallon of gas is going for $3.16 in Virginia, $3.26 in Ohio, $3.28 in Kentucky, $3.39 in Maryland and $3.41 in Pennsylvania.
The West Virginia Turnpike has signs reading “Heavy Traffic Tues. and Thurs. 10 am – 7 pm.”
Those are expected to be the peak times on the Turnpike for travel to and from your holiday destination.