Holiday Travel Is Up: Nationwide And Here In Idaho


By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The holiday travel season is set to kick off tomorrow.

In the time between December 21st and January 1st.

AAA expects 94.5 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more this holiday season.

Joey martin for Idaho’s first news breaks down the numbers.

For the 5th consecutive year the number of travelers hitting the road has increased nationwide.

Up about .6 percent from last year.

"Closer to home, here in Idaho we're expecting 449,000 Idahoans will be expected to ride or drive 50 miles or more from home."

Last year the holiday travel season was summed up in 11 days.

This year, with the way the calendar played out, the 2013 holiday travel season has an extra 12th day.

And that extra day may be the reason for the slight point–6 percent increase.

"Generally speaking were measuring economic growth or the lack there off... if it was strictly based on the numbers, like GDP and employment and consumer spending habits we would probably see a decrease in numbers."
Said Dave Carlson from AAA Idaho.

Along with that extra day of travel... Lower gas prices are also playing a role in the increase.

"Were looking at $3.12 a gallon here and i think it was October 1st we were looking at an average price state–wide of about $3.75. Will that help?... yes it probably makes the whole travel budgeting process a bit easier."
Said Carlson.

With hoards of travelers hitting the roads the number of people visiting friends and family here in Twin Falls could mean dollar signs for the local economy.

"Traveling to visit friends and family really is the number one reason people get into their car and go someplace. We'll see people staying in hotels... eating in restaurants maybe doing a little last minute shopping while they are here. And that's good for our local economy and its good for people to spend that time with family and friends for the holidays."
Said Shawn Barigar, President of the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Weather could also play a major role in holiday travel.

AAA says they expect to respond to 3.76 million calls nationwide for vehicle assistance this holiday season.

"Based on past experience that they likely culprit will be dead batteries, flat tires, and lock–outs. Along the way I'm sure we'll be doing some extrications for people that slide off the road... but the big ones have to do with the contention of the vehicle itself."
Said Carlson.

Hitting the roads... Staying safe.... And spending the holiday season with your loved ones.

AAA says out of that 94.5 million travelers, 91% of them will be going by motor vehicle.

On average those motorists will travel 805 miles... That's 45 miles more than last year at this time.

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