A record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, an increase of more than 5 percent compared with last year and the highest number since AAA started tracking 18 years ago. For the 39.7 million Americans planning a Fourth of July road trip, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long than the normal trip, with Tuesday being the busiest day.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.
“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”
The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.
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The glory of Christmas is on full and colorful display throughout the 2016 holiday season at the most unique faith-and-family destination in the heart of America’s vacation paradise, Orlando, Florida. The award-winning Holy Land Experience has announced the exciting debut of some all-new and original Christmas productions that are sure to cheer every heart with the splendor of the season while re-enforcing the powerful message of faith at the very heart of Christmas.
Among the exciting new theatrical productions debuting throughout the Christmas season at Holy Land Experience are:
Come to the Manger. This fascinating musical tells the poignant and powerful story of a young couple who arrive in the bustling village of Bethlehem just in time to take their place at the center of a dramatic miracle destined to change the world.
Journey to Bethlehem. Join Mary and Joseph as they make their way to the “little town of Bethlehem” for the birth of the Savior of the World. Along the way you’ll get to know a few of the people whose lives are forever impacted by the touch of the newborn King.
The Lost & Found Agency. A unique and colorful team of specialists are called upon to assist a shepherd named Shimmel find his lost sheep, a young lady named Maya locate a valuable missing coin — and a lost young man find his way back home. The audience also has the opportunity to aid one of the “Lost & Found” agents in reclaiming his own lost Christmas spirit, all with the help of an unexpected visitor!
In addition to the unforgettable theatrical productions, Holy Land Experience has an abundance of unique interactive exhibits designed to entertain, educate, and inspire guests of all ages, including:
The Dead Sea Qumran Caves, a replica of the mysterious place where many ancient Bible manuscripts were discovered. The exhibit includes a re-creation of the Upper Room, where Jesus and the disciples observed the Last Supper, and where guests will currently experience the powerful drama Miracle in the Upper Room.
The Wilderness Tabernacle, the heart of worship for the children of Israel after their exodus from Egypt. This awe-inspiring exhibit takes guests on an unforgettable journey through Israel’s ancient priesthood, culminating with a breathtaking depiction of God’s glory revealed above the Ark of the Covenant.
The Great Temple, a magnificent representation of the Jewish holy place that once stood on hallowed Mount Moriah in First Century Jerusalem.
Golgotha, a dramatic recreation of the place in biblical Israel where Jesus Christ was crucified and died. Constructed in part with stones collected from the countryside surrounding Jerusalem, this impacting exhibit is built atop another popular Holy Land Experience site, the profoundly moving recreation of the biblical Garden Tomb, where the body of Jesus was laid after His crucifixion and from where He was miraculously resurrected three days later.
The world-renowned Scriptorium, a combination museum, library, and research center that holds a collection of priceless manuscripts, scrolls, biblical antiquities, and artifacts. The enlightening presentations that accompany the exhibits offer visitors a close-up view of Bible and church history.
Holy Land Experience has also updated its Smile of a Child Adventure Land, where younger guests can burn up plenty of energy on the totally safe rock-climbing walls, play an exciting round of mini-golf featuring Bible characters, have their faces painted, and enjoy an inspirational Bible story.
“Christmas has always been an extra-special time for us here at Holy Land Experience,” said Mike Everett, general manager of the popular Central Florida inspirational attraction. “Every member of our team is committed to help fill the hearts of our valued guests with the warmth and wonder of this holiday season. We look forward to welcoming friends and families from all over the world to share the joy and spirit of Christmas this year.”
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AAA Travel forecasts 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.6 percent increase over the 46.6 million people who traveled last year and the most since 2007. With 300,000 additional holiday travelers, this marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 25 to Sunday, November 29.
“This Thanksgiving, more Americans will carve out time to visit friends and family since 2007,” said Marshall Doney, AAA President and CEO. “While many people remain cautious about the economy and their finances, many thankful Americans continue to put a premium on traveling to spend the holiday with loved ones.”
Despite improvements in the economy, including steady wage growth, rising disposable income and a falling unemployment rate, consumers remain cautious about their finances. However, gas prices remain well below 2014 levels, providing an early holiday bonus to the more than 89 percent of holiday travelers who will drive to their destinations.
“One holiday gift has come early this year. Americans will likely pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008. Lower prices are helping boost disposable income, and enabling families to kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway,” continued Doney.
Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving
Nearly 42 million Americans will take a holiday road trip this Thanksgiving, an increase of 0.7 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 0.1 percent, with 3.6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease 1.4 percent this Thanksgiving, to 1.4 million travelers.
Lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in seven years expected
Drivers nationwide continue to experience significant yearly savings in the price of gas and AAA estimates that consumers are saving nearly $265 million on gasoline every day compared to a year ago. This has helped boost disposable income, enabling many Americans to travel this Thanksgiving. Most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.15, 65 cents less than the average price on Thanksgiving last year ($2.80).
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The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that 37.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from their homes during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That number represents a 4.7 percent increase from the 35.5 million people who traveled last year and the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years.
AAA also predicts that 33 million Americans will travel by car to their destinations. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 21, to Monday, May 25.
More AAA information from their report:
- Most drivers will probably pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years. The current national average price of gas is $2.66, which is about $1 less than the average price on Memorial Day last year.
- The 4.7 percent increase over Memorial Day 2014 is the highest forecast growth rate for any of the holidays tracked by AAA since Independence Day 2012.
- More than 33 million travelers will go by automobile, an increase of 5.3 percent over last Memorial Day.
- Travelers will encounter higher lodging costs this year, while airfares are down slightly compared to Memorial Day 2014.