Travel Trends

2015’s Holiday Travel Forecast

A record breaking 100 million people will travel this holiday season. Will you be joining them?

With the holidays and new year quickly approaching, here’s everything you need to know for the busiest travel season the U.S. has ever seen. Whether you’re hitting the slopes, warmer weather, or visiting family and friends, you’ll be on the road—along with a lot of other people.


According to AAA this season will see a 1.4 percent increase in travelers from last year, bringing the total number of people traveling during the holiday period (defined as December 23 to January 3) to 100.5 million. Thanks to rising income and lower gas prices (expected to fall below $2 per gallon), the U.S. will see 91.3 million people on the road and 5.76 million traveling by air.

Gas prices are expected to be the lowest in seven years, and airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are six percent lower than last year. Hotels are expected to be four percent higher, at $150 average rate per night.

Shared accommodation platform Airbnb released some of its numbers for 2015 New Year’s Eve bookings, and they claim that more than 1 million people have booked a room so far on the celebratory night. New York City, Miami, Los Angles, Orlando, and Tahoe took the top five spots for most popular booking destinations. While these number are self-reported, it is important to note that this is the first time Airbnb has broken a million bookings in any given night.

RELATED: The Hottest Holiday Destinations for 2015/2016

Traveling isn’t the only thing people will be doing this year, according to the U.S. Travel Association, American travelers will spend over $28.7 billion dollars over the holiday period, a steady increase from last year.

You Tell Us: Do you plan to stay local or travel far this holiday season?

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Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more advice on travel hacks and destination ideas.

(Infographic: AAA Newsroom)

By Ashley Rossi

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

After interning at SmarterTravel, Ashley joined the team full time in 2015. She's lived on three continents, but still never knows where her next adventure will take her. She's always searching for upcoming destination hotspots, secluded retreats, and hidden gems to share with the world.

Ashley's stories have been featured online on USA Today, Business Insider, TripAdvisor, Huffington Post, Jetsetter, and Yahoo! Travel, as well as other publications.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A reusable filtered water bottle—it saves you money, keeps you hydrated, and eliminates waste—win-win."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "A week in a bamboo beach hut on India's Andaman Islands."

Travel Motto: "Travel light, often, and in good company."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window—best view in the house."