Travel set for record highs ahead of Christmas; Florida wins top destinations

Traffic Jam photo IAS
Atlantic Beach Christmas
Christmas at Atlantic Beach (FL), just down from Ragtime Tavern and Grille. (Photo: IAS)

If you’re traveling this Christmas, you’re not alone. You’ll be one of an expected 112.5 million travelers hitting the roads. The good news is that not everyone is heading in the same direction.

For Floridians, the news is a mix. My home state will benefit from all those travelers’ dollars, but three Florida cities are in the top ten destinations, and that means serious traffic on I-95 and other major highways. 

The American Automobile Association—AAA—compiled figures on the most popular destinations. Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami are among the top seven US cities expecting lots of guests. If you look at the full list, the only northern city in the US expecting the same is New York City.

AAA will be busy—the association expects to assist more than 960,000 motorists for a variety of mishaps:

“AAA expects to rescue more than 960,000 motorists at the roadside this year-end holiday period. Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble.”

For cities like Atlanta (GA), New York (NY), Boston (MA), and Houston (Texas), the worst day to travel is Thursday, Dec. 20.

AAA recommends leaving early, using alternate routes when necessary, and avoiding commute traffic in large metro areas.

The association’s website says AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 35 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit

[Source: AAA news release]

(Kay B. Day/Dec. 13, 2018)


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