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Florida Expected To Set New Holiday Travel Record

Dec 14, 2018
Originally published on December 14, 2018 7:35 am

The American Automobile Association is predicting 5.9 million Floridians will be traveling this holiday season.

If the prediction holds true, it would be the highest number AAA has seen since it began tracking holiday travel in 2001 and represents 4.8 percent more than last year.

The nationwide trend is similar with a 4.4 percent increase predicted, which would be 112.5 million people.

The vast majority of travelers will hop in the car with 102.1 million predicted to drive somewhere over the holidays as compared to 6.7 million Americans that are expected to fly.

A big reason for the predicted travel jump: gas prices. The average price for a gallon was $2.31 across Florida at last check, according to AAA. It hasn’t been that cheap at this time of year since 2015, the auto group said.

Related: Lowest Gas Prices Around Jacksonville

Once again, Florida is forecast to be the holiday season's top travel destination with three cities in the Sushine state making AAA's Top 10 year-end travel destinations list:  

1.) Orlando, Florida

2.) Cancun, Mexico

3.) Anaheim, California (Disneyland)

4.) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

5.) Montego Bay, Jamaica

6.) Honolulu, Hawaii

7.) New York, New York

8.) Kahului, Hawaii (Maui)

9.) Fort Lauderdale, Florida

10.) Miami, Florida

AAA’s based its list on online and travel agency air and tour bookings.  The agency also looked at flight data from the last three years and found that most holiday air travelers leave two or three days before Chistmas and return the day after.

Based on historical data, fewer travelers choose to fly on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, according to AAA.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

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