ORLANDO, Fla. — A record number of travelers will be hitting the roads, booking flights and catching trains this holiday season, according to AAA Inc., which expects 107.3 million Americans to do some traveling between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1.
AAA also noted that a majority of those travelers — 97.4 million — will be traveling by automobile.
This, the association said, is the highest year-end travel volume and represents an increase of 3.1 percent over last year's holiday travel period. It also marks the ninth consecutive year that travel numbers are expected to increase.
"More expensive gas prices are not swaying holiday revelers to stay home," said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing.
"In fact, across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend — Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving — and we project the same for the year-end holiday period. We've seen the strong economy and growing consumer confidence fuel holiday travel all year long."
Most of those travelers should reach their destinations without concern, but AAA does expect to respond to nearly 1 million roadside assistance calls. The most common reasons motorists call for assistance throughout the holiday season include battery-related issues, lockouts and flat tires.
To avoid unexpected auto-related issues during holiday travel, AAA recommends having your vehicle inspection from a trusted repair shop ahead of the trip.
The group also suggests motorists preparing for emergencies by carrying a cell phone and charger at all times. Additional emergency kit items, such as a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and extra water, also should be kept in the car during road trips.
AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, go to AAA.com.