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Holiday travel expected to break record

Staff Report • Dec 21, 2018 at 2:33 PM

NASHVILLE — A record-breaking 112.5 million travelers will take to the nation’s runways, roads and rails to celebrate the holidays.

AAA forecasts that more than one-third of Americans and two-in-five Tennesseans will travel this holiday season. This is the most since AAA has been tracking holiday travel and represents a 4.4 percent increase over last year nationwide and a 5.1 percent increase in Tennessee.

The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Saturday, Dec. 22, through Tuesday, Jan. 1. The 11-day span is one day longer than last year, due to Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Tuesdays this year.

“Tennesseans, even more than the average American, are traveling in record numbers this holiday season journeying to spend time with friends and family,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee public affairs director for AAA, in a press release. “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.”

All travelers

• Total: 112.5 million (4.4 percent more than last year)

• Tennessee: 2.68 million (5.1 percent more than last year)

Automobiles

• Total: 102.1 million (4.4 percent more than last year)

• Tennessee: 2.51 million (5.1 percent more than last year)

Planes

• Total: 6.7 million (4.2 percent more than last year)

• Tennessee: 70,000 (4.1 percent more than last year)

Trains, buses and cruise ships

• Total: 3.7 million (4 percent more than last year)

• Tennessee: 93,000 (5.1 percent more than last year)

To the rescue

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

AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown.

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