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Shattering the Record, Virginia Travel Numbers Rise for 8th Straight Year!

Christmas tree car ornament
Photo courtesy of Grotos/Flickr Creative Commons

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 18, 2019) – For the 8th consecutive year, people in Virginia traveling will be breaking the record. AAA projects 3.1 million to be traveling to be with friends and family during this extended holiday from Sunday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Jan. 1. This represents a 3.5 percent increase from the previous year. Almost 2.9 million will be traveling by automobile, a 3.4 percent increase.


“’Tis the season for holiday travel, and more Virginians than ever will journey to spend time with friends and family or choose to take a vacation,” said Georjeane Blumling, vice president of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “Strong economic growth fueled by robust consumer spending continues to drive strong demand for seasonal travel. With a record-breaking number choosing to travel this holiday, roadways and airports are sure to be busy.”


By the Numbers: 2019 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast for Virginia


Mode of Transportation

Number of Travelers Expected

Increase from 2018


2.8 Million  


Air Plane

176 Thousand


Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships

137 Thousand








Slightly Higher Gas Prices Not Detouring Holiday Travelers from Driving
Gas prices have remained steady for the last month, with a small decline at the end of November. While gas has been higher than last year, it has not scared consumers off from taking a road trip this year. Steady gas price averages, combined with rising disposable income, is motivating more Americans to hit the road this holiday season.


Gas Prices as of December 18, 2019




Last Week 

Last Month

        Last Year






Hampton Roads















Those traveling on the road, AAA has some advice:


The holidays can be a stressful time; AAA encourages drivers to maintain a cool head and focus on reaching their destination safely. AAA offers these tips to help prevent road rage:


  • Do Not Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing another driver to use their brakes or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
  • Be Tolerant and Forgiving: The other driver may just be having a really bad day. Assume that it is not personal.
  • Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 9-1-1 if needed.



AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the year-end holiday travel period is defined as the 12-day period from Saturday, Dec. 21 to Wednesday, Jan. 1.


In cooperation with AAA, IHS Markit developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes, using macroeconomic drivers such as employment; output; household net worth; asset prices including stock indices; interest rates; housing market indicators and variables related to travel and tourism, including prices of gasoline, airline travel and hotel stays.


As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 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 and follow us on Twitter at or Facebook at

CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Tidewater Automobile Association of Virginia, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Tidewater Virginia is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the Tidewater Virginia region (All Hampton Roads cities, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg; Virginia's Eastern Shore; as well as the following counties: Greensville, Surry, Brunswick, Isle of Wight, Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Richmond County, Southampton, Sussex, Mecklenburg, James City County, York, Lunenburg, Essex, King & Queen, Mathews, Northumberland, and Westmoreland).