Over 2.7 Million Virginians Expected To Spend More Money And Travel Farther This Holiday Season

Travel
highway with mountains trees in background

 

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Thursday, December 19, 2013) – AAA projects more than 2.7 million Virginians will be traveling for the 2013 year-end holiday season (Saturday, December 21 to Wednesday, January 1) and on average will log 965 miles to celebrate with friends and family as compared to 765 miles last year; a colossal 26 percent increase in total miles traveled, despite slightly higher gas prices. Additionally, spending is up by five percent as Virginians will spend $842 this year versus $801 last year.

“The fact that the number of Virginians expected to travel this year-end illustrates the importance of being with loved ones for the holidays, regardless of a struggling economy,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia.“The recovery rate of the number of holiday travelers has once again out-paced the economic recovery.”

BY CAR / GAS PRICES: Gas prices have been somewhat of a see-saw in recent weeks within the commonwealth with latest trends showing gas prices going down as we approach the new year.  Over 2.4 million Virginians, or 91 percent of holiday travelers, will choose to drive to their holiday celebrations. Gas prices in Virginia today average $3.14, three cents higher than the average last year.

Gas Prices as of December 19, 2013, for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline:

 

Price Today

Price Last Month

Price Last Year

National

$3.21

$3.21

$3.23

Virginia

$3.14

$3.12

$3.11

Norfolk

$3.18

$3.13

$3.05

Richmond

$3.11

$3.09

$3.03

AIR:  Air travel in Virginia will decrease by 1.6%, as just over 150,000 (150,149) holiday travelers will take to the skies. Those traveling by air will find lower airfares according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.  During Christmas week the average lowest round-trip rate is $199 for the top 40 U.S. air routes compared to $204 last year.

AVERAGE TRAVEL DISTANCE INCREASES: According to the survey of intended travelers, the average distance traveled by Virginians during the holiday period is expected to be 965 miles, 26 percent further than last year when travelers planned to log 765 miles. “This increase is likely due to having two weekends in the holiday travel period which allows travelers to go further and stay longer,” Blumling added.

MEDIAN SPENDING UP OVER FIVE PERCENT: Median spending is expected to be $842, a five percent increase compared to the expected median spending of intended holiday travelers ($801) in 2012.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.  For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATWnews.

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