More Than Two-Million Marylanders Expected To Travel This Holiday Weekend

And there will be lower gas prices for those going by car.

Baltimore, Md (KM) Almost 2.3-million Marylanders will be traveling 50 miles or more for home during the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s Holiday Weekends. That’s according to AAA Mid-Atlantic which says that’s a two-percent increase compared to last year. “Certainly expected to be a very busy time on the roads with more than two-million or about 90-percent traveling in our state expected to drive this upcoming holiday period,” says Ragina Ali, the Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

But Ali says that’s not quite at the level reported before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021. “We’re up over last year. But as far it relates to total travel, automobile and air travel, we are so below pre-pandemic numbers,:” she says.

The highest travel volume for the year-end holidays in 2019 and 2017  are 2.5-million and 2.3-million respectively, according to AAA.

The auto club reports the biggest percentage increases in travel in 2023 are with buses, trains and cruise ships. Nearly 104,000 Marylanders are expected to use these modes of travel, an almost 16-percent increase from last year.

Anyone who plans to travel by car to their holiday destination will find gas prices a little bit lower then last year. Ali says the average price in Maryland, as of Sunday, December 17th, is $3.10 per gallon. “That’s actually the cheapest gas has been all year, and eight-cents less this time last year,” she says.

Drivers can find the current gasoline prices along their route by using AAA’s Trip-Tik Travel planner.

According to the auto club, the year-end holiday travel period is from Saturday, December 23rd, 2023 to January 1st, 2024.

Ali says when driving  during busy times, it’s better to leave early or stay late to avoid traffic congestion. “If you have some flexibility with your schedule and you can travel on some of these times that aren’t expected to be peak times, that would certainly be ideal,”; she says. “But you certainly want to be paying attention;  make sure everyone in your car is buckled; observe the speed limit; observe the speed; make sure your car is road ready.”

AAA says 132,000 Marylanders are expected to fly to their travel destination. Ali reminds them that airports are expected to be very busy/. “So you want to make you’re checking your flight status before you even get to the airport. Make sure   you know what you can or cannot have in your carry-on luggage so you’re not one of these people who are holding up the security line because you’ve got things in your luggage that you’re carrying on that you shouldn’t have,” she says.

Ali says one way to keep up-to-date on your flight’s status is download your airline’s mobile app.

By Kevin McManus