Nearly 30 percent of all Americans are planning to travel sometime between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1, and about 91 percent are expected to travel by automobile – up 0.9 percent from last year.
Holiday travelers will pay more for a gallon of unleaded around Tampa Bay this year - about 25 cents more if prices stay stable.
The average price was $3.317 in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metro Area as of Dec. 23, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. On the same date last year, the locals were paying an average of $3.171. Floridians are paying an average of $3.36, which is up from the $3.276 on Dec. 23, 2012.
However, travelers may find better prices out-of-state. The national average is $3.25, nearly the same as the $3.246 on the date in 2012.
AAA Auto is predicting that prices will stay fairly stable through the holiday season.
"Gas prices will likely remain relatively stable until the new year,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokesperson, The Auto Club Group. "The stability may not last long. Oil prices recently jumped on a growing U.S. economy and it’s likely pump prices will rise after the first of the year on optimism fuel demand will increase in 2014.”
More making holiday travel plans
AAA projects 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of 0.6 percent from the 94 million people who traveled last year.
“This upward trend marks the fifth consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume recorded for the season,” according to a press release.
The year-end holiday period is defined as Saturday, Dec. 21, to Wednesday, Jan. 1. Nearly 30 percent of all Americans are planning to travel, and about 91 percent are expected to travel by automobile – up 0.9 percent from last year.
Holiday air travel is expected to decline slightly to 5.53 million travelers from 5.61 last year, according to AAA, and median spending expected to increase slightly to $765, compared to $759 last year.
"Travel has been on the rebound for the past five years and has finally reached an all-time high for the year-end holiday season," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "This year, the holiday travel period includes two weekends and provides an extra day for travelers to visit family and friends."