Arizonans Head Ho-Ho-Home for the Holidays

One in three Arizonans to take a year-end trip

Phoenix, Dec. 17, 2013. The year-end holiday blitz is about to commence. Millions of travelers – both state and nationwide – will begin their sleigh rides home for the holidays this weekend.  

More than 1.9 million Arizonans will travel over the upcoming year-end holiday travel period, a 1.2 percent increase over last year. Nationwide, 94.5 million Americans will travel, a 0.6 percent increase compared to 2012, according to travel source AAA. Both state and nationwide, year-end travel is expected to increase for the fifth consecutive year.

Covering both the Christmas and New Year holidays, the year-end holiday travel period is by far the longest holiday period of the year. It includes trips 50 or more miles from home between Saturday, Dec. 21, to Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.

“The year-end travel period – which is generally the most traveled days of the year – is a day longer this year,” said Amy Moreno, senior travel manager for AAA Arizona. “The modest upswing in travel we’re expecting to see can be attributed to this. It is the calendar effect.”

Arizona highlights from AAA’s 2013/14 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast include:

  • ‘Sleigh’ rides rule. Nearly 90 percent of Arizonans (1.7 million) will travel by car, representing almost 28 percent – or more than one in four – of the region’s population. This also represents an increase of 1.6 percent from last year.
     
  • Air travel takes flight. AAA expects more than 135,000 Arizonans to fly the friendly skies to their holiday destinations. This is a slight decrease of 1.1 percent from 2012.
     
  • Budgets jingle a little more. Median spending among Arizona travelers is expected to be 17 percent higher this year at $812. Shopping will account for the largest portion of spending, consuming 23 cents of every travel dollar.
     
  • Shorter, jolly trips planned. Arizonans will travel an average of 970 miles, down nearly 70 miles from 2012.


“As a full-service travel agency, it’s great to see such a large share – more than 30 percent – of the population plan to take a trip over the final two holidays of the year,” Moreno said. “For travelers and the travel industry alike, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.”

As a travel resource, AAA offers a variety of mobile travel tools. This includes AAA Mobile, a free app for Smartphone users. The app uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby discounts, summon roadside assistance, find current gas prices and more. Travelers can learn more about this resource at AAA.com/mobile.

Research for year-end travel projections are derived from IHS Global Insight. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. 

AAA is the largest leisure travel agency in North America. Visit AAA.com/Travel for more information.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.