July 22, 2014

Holiday travel season gets underway

If you’re leaving home for the holidays, expect plenty of company on the roads and in the airports.

Holiday travel is projected to be up just under one percent from last year, with AAA projecting 94.5 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more from home between now and New Year’s Day. In Wisconsin, about 1.8 million residents are expected to travel.

Pam Moen with AAA-Wisconsin says it’s the fifth year in a row that the number of people taking a trip during the holiday season has gone up, and the highest number since the auto club started tracking travel plans almost 20 years ago.

Moen says the ongoing economic recovery and a drop in gas prices are the likely reasons for the increase. She says people are starting to feel better about spending money on travel plans, and a statewide average gas price of about $3.09 a gallon also makes it more affordable.

The travel season officially gets underway today and runs through January 1. Those heading out this weekend could be in for some delays though. The National Weather Service expects a major winter storm to hit the region starting tonight and through most of the day Sunday, dropping between four and ten inches of snow on parts of Wisconsin. That could result in dangerous driving conditions on many roads and cause lengthy delays for air travelers.