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- Brandon Dill
The number of holiday travelers in Tennessee and across the nation are expected to break records this year, according to AAA.
The auto club began tracking holiday travel in 2009 and officials there believe more will travel this season than any other previous year. AAA considers the holiday travel period to be from Saturday, Dec. 22nd through Tuesday, Jan. 2. The eleven-day period is one day longer than last year, according to AAA, as Christmas and New year’s Day fall on Tuesdays.
About 2.7 million Tennesseeans — two of every five people who live in the state — are expected to travel this season, AAA said, a 5.1 percent increase over last year. About 2.5 million will travel by road. About 70,000 will fly this year, and 93,000 Tennesseans are expected to get on a train, bus, or cruise ship.
About 112.5 million Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, according to AAA. About 102.1 million will travel by road, 6.7 million by plane, and 3.7 million will travel by bus, train, or cruise ship.
“Tennesseans, even more than the average American, are traveling in record numbers this holiday season journeying to spend time with friends and family,” Stephanie Milani, AAA’s Tennessee public affairs director, said in a statement. “Gas prices below year-ago levels is a nice gift for any driver this season, but strong economic growth fueled by robust consumer spending also continues to drive strong demand for seasonal travel.”
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AAA expects gas prices to remain low throughout the holiday season. Prices fell about 51 cents across the country from October through December to an average of about $2.40 per gallon (as of Dec.12th). But AAA expects those prices to rise as the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will cut production for the first six months of 2019.