Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Roads, airports will be busy as a record number of people travel for the holidays

Author:

If you're traveling for the holidays, here's one thing you should know: it'll be busy.

AAA projects nearly one in three Americans will travel over the year-end holiday season (Dec. 23 through Jan. 3) – it's expected to be the first year the number of travelers tops the 100 million mark.

Here’s what you need to know, no matter how you’re getting around this week.

Most people are driving

Ninety percent of people will be driving to their holiday celebrations this year, AAA says. And there's good news for the estimated 91.3 million people who are hitting the roads – they'll save money at the pump.

The national average for a gallon of gas is below $2 for the first time since March 25, 2009, AAA announced. The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $1.868 in Minnesota Monday, AAA's fuel gauge report shows. The lowest price fin the state was found in Champlin, where customers paying cash paid $1.66 for a gallon, GasBuddy.com says.

The airport will be busy, too

Expect long security lines at the airport this week.

Airlines for America projects 38.1 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines from Dec. 18 through Jan. 3, which is up 3 percent on last year. (AAA puts the number of people flying from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3 at 5.8 million.)

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was already packed Monday morning – and it's expected to get busier as Christmas gets closer, KARE 11 notes.

"Usually I come in and zip through here like in 10 minutes, so I was a little bit shocked," Dunya Habash told KSTP of the long security line at MSP.

Wednesday is forecast to be one of the busiest travel days of the season, so keep that in mind when you're planning on when to get to the airport, USA Today says.

More travelers – including families who may not be as speedy at the screening process – coupled with tighter security could mean you'll be spending more time waiting in the security line. MSP Airport recommends getting to the airport at least 90 minutes before your boarding time.

There's good news for air travelers as well. Airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are 6 percent lower this holiday season, meaning people paid an average of $174 round trip, AAA notes.

Plan ahead: Sloppy weather could slow travel

Those traveling this week may have to deal with some sloppy weather across the country.

If you're driving in Minnesota you'll likely encounter some wet – possibly slushy – roads this week. Several rounds of rain and snow will move into the region mid-week, but mostly rain is expected for much of Minnesota and Wisconsin, the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities says. High temperatures later this week will be in the 20s and 30s, the weather service adds.

Those taking to the sky won't have to deal with any widespread wintry weather, USA Today notes, but it might not be completely smooth sailing.

Historically warm weather is in the forecast for the majority of airports in the United States, which is limiting the chance for snowy travel. However, there may be fog, rain and thunderstorms that could delay flights, so it's important to keep an eye on the forecast, the paper says.

Next Up

u.s. attorney

Guilty plea from man who stockpiled guns, equipment to make bombs, drugs

Prosecutors say he had multiple guns, items to make weapons and pipe bombs, and lab equipment to make drugs.

polaris Ranger XP Kinetic

Here is Polaris' new electric Ranger off-road vehicle

The Minnesota-based company unveiled the electric UTV on Wednesday.

MNWOSO_Aurora

MN women's soccer team narrows name, logo options to final 3

The winning nickname and logo will be announced in January.

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.

ambulance

Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Related

Record number of Americans traveling this Thanksgiving

More than 40 million Americans are expected to drive, fly or ride trains to their Thanksgiving destinations this year -- that's according to AAA. The travel tracker says it's the highest number since the start of the recession.

MSP Airport seeing record number of spring break travelers

Four of the five busiest days in MSP history have come this year.