The holidays wouldn't be the same for some people without piling in a car to go over the river and through the woods. Others brave airport crowds to get to loved ones.
This year, AAA predicts that a total of 94.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1. That's up slightly from the 94 million who traveled last year.
"While economic growth has stagnated and consumer confidence has fallen, Americans will not be Scrooges when it comes to traveling this year," AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney said in a prepared statement. "AAA is projecting more Americans to travel than ever before to gather with friends and family, exchange presents and ring in the new year."
Only once in the past decade has there been a change in travel volume greater than 5 percent, and that was a decline in 2007 as the recession was just getting started.
"Of all the travel holidays, the year-end holiday season remains the least volatile, as Americans will not let economic conditions dictate their travel plans to celebrate the holidays," Doney said.
During the holiday travel season, AAA leaders expect to rescue as many as 3.76 million motorists who break down on the side of the road with dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts.
Officials recommend that motorists check battery and tire conditions and prepare vehicles for winter driving before heading out on a holiday getaway.
Click here for more travel tips.
AAA and Comcast are two companies that offer resources that might make traveling easier.
For anyone who needs something to do during the drive or a way to keep the kids occupied, the new Xfinity TV Go mobile app allows Comcast customers to watch up to 35 television channels over the Internet on their Apple or Android mobile devices.
Xfinity TV Go also provides the ability to stream more than 25,000 Xfinity On Demand choices and download hundreds of movies and TV shows to watch offline later.
The Xfinity WiFi app locates one of 500,000 Xfinity hot spots around the country, allowing customers to log into an Xfinity Wi-Fi connection almost anywhere.
And the Xfinity Home app allows users to remotely control their home thermostats and lights and arm their home security alarm to ensure peace of mind while traveling.
For more information about Xfinity apps, click here.
AAA’s digital tools for travel planning include eTourBook guides for tablets and smartphones, available free to members.
The free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, find current gas prices and discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Travelers who use the iPad version can access interactive guides to popular cities.
On AAA.com, travelers can find thousands of hotels and restaurants using AAA’s TripTik travel planner or the searchable travel guides at AAA.com/Travel.
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