83.6 million Americans to hit the roads for Year-End holidays image

The American Automobile Association (AAA) forecasts 91.9 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home during the 2011-2012 Year-End holiday season.

83.6 million travelers, a whopping 91 percent of total travelers, will use cars. The forecasted figure is a 1.4 percent increase over the 90.7 million people who traveled one year ago. It is also the second highest travel volume in the past decade and represents 30 percent of the total U.S. population.

The 11-day Year-End holiday period is the longest holiday travel season of the year, with more Americans choosing to visit family or to take vacations. The holiday travel season starts on Friday, December 23 2011 and ends on Monday, January 2 2012.

“It’s a positive sign for the travel industry that so many Americans are planning to travel this holiday season, collectively contributing to the second-highest year-end holiday travel volume in the past ten years,” said Brad Roeber, AAA Chicago regional president.

Of the 91.9 million holiday travelers, approximately 83.6 million will use cars, a 2.1 percent increase compared to last year when the number of auto travelers reached 81.9 million. Automobile travel remains the preferred choice of transportation for holiday travelers, with air travel far behind. Only 5.4 million travelers will choose the airplane, a 9.7 percent decrease from last year.