Here’s a nice holiday present for folks hitting the road this Christmas season.
Gas prices are expected to continue their downward slide, allowing 1 in 4 Americans to take a road trip this holiday season, says AAA Southern New England.
According to AAA’s Annual Holiday Survey, 93.3 million Americans - a 1.6% increase over last year – plan to drive or fly between Saturday, Dec. 22 and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.
Of that number:
- 90% or 84.4 million folks, a 1.3% increase, will travel by automobile;
- 6% or 5.6 million folks, a 4.5% increase compared to last year, are expected to fly; and
- The remaining 4% will take some other mode of transportation.
The national average price of gasoline has slid slowly since September; it’s expected to continue to drop by year’s end with experts predicting by New Year’s Day, it’ll be around the $3.15 -3.20 mark.
In Connecticut, average prices are also on the decline. Since September, average prices here have dropped about 50 cents a gallon with expected prices to hover between the $3.60 - $3.65 mark next week.
The price drop may be attributed to numerous factors this year: a switch to winter-blend fuel, which is less expensive to produce; increasing inventories; cheaper crude oil prices; lower demand; and economic concerns.
However, even though average gas prices are consider high for this time of year, AAA doesn’t expect them to have a major impact on holiday travel, beginning Saturday.
As usual, auto travel remains the dominant mode of transportation for this holiday. The 84.4 million motorists, who plan to travel by car represents about 26.7% of the population – which translates into 1 in 4 Americans.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA / IHS Global Insight 2012/13 Year-end Holiday Travel Forecast can be found atNewsRoom.AAA.com.