Seasonal Holidays 2021: Which are the worst days to travel during the holidays? –

Winter holiday travel is about to roar back with a vengeance.

AAA estimates more than 109 million Americans will travel over the long Christmas and New Year’s week — a number approaching the pre-pandemic record 119 million travelers of Christmas 2019.

“Americans who canceled their vacations in 2020 want to gather with family and friends for the holidays this year, although they will still be mindful of the pandemic and the new omicron variant,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel in a news release. “With vaccines widely available, conditions are much different and many people feel a greater level of comfort with travel.”

More than 100 million Americans will hit the road for holiday getaways and gatherings.

For the people who AAA predicts will drive, gas prices are slumping from highs reached around Thanksgiving. The national average dipped to $3.30 on Tuesday, down from $3.41 a month ago.

AAA explained it believes gas prices “are unlikely to have a significant impact on the return of auto travel,”.

While airline companies will see a 184% increase from last year, the US Energy Information Administration said last week that it expects gas prices to drop below $3 a gallon on average for 2022.

Christmas/New Year’s Day will change travel dynamics

For the first time since 2010/the start of 2011, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day will be on a Saturday this year.

Because of that, the federal and bank holidays will recognize the Christmas Day holiday on Dec. 24, and the New Year’s Day holiday on Dec. 31.

That could provoke to more people flying out/traveling during the midweek days that are typically slower.

At the airports

Airlines are projected to carry 6.4 million passengers, AAA said. That’s about triple the number from last year when the pandemic significantly curtailed holiday travel.

The Transportation Administator Security Pekoske predicted December 23 and January 3 will be the busiest days of the winter holiday season.

Should I stay or should I go?

If you are vaccinated, you should not have to change your holiday plans — even with Omicron circulating in the United States, according to Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“If you have a vaccinated situation, your family is vaccinated, enjoy the holidays indoors with your family,” Fauci said on a CNN Global Town Hall on December 1.

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