Record-breaking travel volume expected this holiday season in the region

Rush-hour traffic heads west, right, and east, left, along the Schuylkill Expressway Wednesday, April 10, 2019 in Philadelphia. (Jacqueline Larma/AP Photo)

Rush-hour traffic heads west, right, and east, left, along the Schuylkill Expressway Wednesday, April 10, 2019 in Philadelphia. (Jacqueline Larma/AP Photo)

The number of people traveling for the upcoming holiday period could break some records this year.

Nationwide, AAA projects more than 115 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more between Saturday, Dec. 21 and New Year’s Day.

Jana Tidwell, public affairs manager with AAA Mid-Atlantic, said some of the high volume is due to the length of the holiday period.

This is the eighth straight year of travel-volume record-breaking and the highest volume of people traveling since AAA started keeping records in 2000.

Tidwell credits the rebounding economy.

“With consumer confidence increasing, with increased disposable income, travelers are willing to spend that disposable income over the holidays to get to see family and friends,” she said.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is expecting more than 6.6 million vehicles through New Year’s Day.

Officials say the busiest days for the toll road will be Friday, Dec. 20; Monday, Dec. 23, and Friday, Dec. 27.

For those flying, Tidwell reminds those without a REAL ID that this is the last major travel period when the identification isn’t needed to board a plane. Airline passengers will need to present a REAL ID or another form of accepted identification to board a plane starting in October 2020.

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