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More people will travel for the holidays than ever before, says AAA

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A record 2.7 million New Jersey residents will hit the road — or the sky — to travel 50+ miles for the year-end holidays, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

AAA projects 2017 to be the highest year-end travel volume on record, with a 3.3 percent increase over 2016.

This marks the ninth consecutive year of increased holiday year-end travel, defined as Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1.

“AAA has seen the strong economy and growing consumer confidence fuel holiday travel all year long,” said Tracy E. Noble, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Travel volume has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend in 2017 — Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving — and we project the same for the year-end holiday period.”

Record breaking numbers span all modes of transportation — automobile, airplane, and others — and the country overall. The 107.3 million Americans set to travel during the holidays outdoes the 2016 record by 3.1 percent.

While 91 percent of Americans will get to their holiday destination by car, 6 percent will fly and 3 percent will find another way. The numbers for New Jersey are 90 percent, 6.7 percent, and 3 percent, respectively.

Of course, with holiday travel comes holiday traffic. For those traveling by automobile, global transportation analytics company INRIX predicts spending three times as much time in traffic as compared to a normal trip. INRIX predicts that the greatest amount of congestion will be right before the holiday week in the late afternoons of Dec. 20 and 21, as commuters leave work and mix with holiday travelers.

So turn up the Christmas carols, find your favorite podcast or listen to the news — because this might take a while.

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Gabrielle Saulsbery

Gabrielle Saulsbery

Albany, NY native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at gsaulsbery@njbiz.com.

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