Jingle Bells, Year-End Travel Swells


One in four Arizonans to take a year-end road trip


Jingle Bells, Year-End Travel Swells

One in four Arizonans to take a year-end road trip


Phoenix. Dec. 13, 2012. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for those planning to head home, or elsewhere, for the holidays.  


According to AAA, nearly 1.9 million Arizonans will travel over the upcoming year-end holiday travel period, a 1.2 percent increase over last year. Nationwide, 93.3 million Americans will travel, a 1.6 percent increase compared to 2011.


The year-end holiday travel period, covering both the Christmas and New Year holidays, is by far the longest holiday period of the year, including trips occurring between Saturday, Dec. 22 and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.


“Travelers will not let economic conditions dictate if they can travel to visit friends and family, take a vacation during the holiday break, or both,” said Amy Moreno, director of travel services for AAA Arizona. “This makes the year-end holidays among the 10 most traveled days of the year.”


Arizona highlights from AAA’s 2012/13 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast include:


  • ‘Sleigh’ rides rule. Nearly 90 percent of Arizonans (1.6 million) will travel by car, representing almost 28 percent – or more than one in four – of the state’s population.
  • Air travel takes flight. AAA expects nearly 137,000 Arizonans to fly the friendly skies to their holiday destinations. This represents an increase of 3.8 percent from 2011.
  • Budgets jingle a little less. Median spending among Arizona travelers is expected to be $694, which is about 10 percent less than last year. Transportation costs will account for the largest portion of spending, consuming 31 cents of every travel dollar.
  • Longer, jolly trips planned. Arizonans will travel over the river and through the woods with an average of 1,038 miles round-trip, up 77 miles from 2011. This increase can be attributed to the forecasted uptick in air travel.


“Leisure travel experienced sustained recovery and modest growth throughout 2012,” said Moreno. “The year-end holiday period will be no exception to this, as travel volume is expected to be the third-highest number Arizona has produced in the past decade.”


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.