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AAA predicts 3.3 million Michigan residents will travel this holiday season

AAA predicts crowded roads and skies
AAA predicts biggest Thanksgiving travel rush in 9 years
Posted at 9:57 AM, Dec 14, 2021

(WXYZ) — AAA has released its estimate on how many Americans are likely to travel during the holidays. More than 109 million Americans, including 3.3 million Michigan residents, are expected to hit the roads or catch flights. According to their press release, this forecast is 9.9% fewer travelers compared to a record high in 2019.

This estimate reportedly shows an almost 34% increase compared to last year's travelers. “Americans who canceled their vacations in 2020 want to gather with family and friends for the holidays this year, although they will still need to be mindful of the pandemic,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President, AAA – The Auto Club Group, in a press release. “With vaccines widely available, conditions are much different and many people feel a greater level of comfort with travel this year."

With the amount of traveling happening this holiday season, you might also see higher prices when planning a trip. AAA says their recent analysis revealed that flight ticket prices are up 5% from last year. According to AAA, “those wanting to book last-minute travel will find the best fares about two weeks before their travel date but keep in mind availability may be limited.”

Also, AAA studies have found that mid-range hotel rates have increased 36% for AAA Approved hotels with an average nightly rate of $320.

AAA also wants to remind travelers that masks are still required for everyone on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of U.S public transportation.

As auto travel remains a preferred method of traveling, here are some best and worst times for you to hit the road, according to the organization.

Worst Times:

  • Thursday from 12–6 pm
  • Friday from 2-6 pm
  • Saturday there’s minimal congestion expected.
  • Sunday from 1-7 pm
  • Monday from 5–6 pm

Best times:

  • Thursday after 7 pm
  • Friday before 1 pm
  • Saturday there’s minimal congestion expected.
  • Sunday before 12 pm
  • Monday before 1 pm

In metro Detroit, the worst corridor will reportedly be U S-23 North; 8 Mile Rd to I-96 with peak congestion on Thursday from 9:45-11:45 am with travel up 209%.