When British singer-songwriter Chris Rea recorded “Driving Home for Christmas” in 1986, he not only created one of the all-time holiday classics but he also, inadvertently, captured the essence of the American holiday commute.
When millions of Americans set off to enjoy the end-of-year festivities with their loved-ones, the vast majority of them will hit the road Chris Rea style. According to the American Automobile Association, better known as AAA, more than 112 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles away from home this holiday season, making 2022 the third busiest holiday travel season since AAA began its tracking in 2000.
And like Chris Rea, who was “top to toe in tailbacks, red lights all around”, Americans should expect busy roads this holiday season. AAA expects roughly 102 million Americans driving to their holiday destination, while roughly 7 million travelers will be flying home for Christmas. “With pre-pandemic levels of travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in and around major metro areas, with Tuesday, December 27 expected to be the nation’s worst day to travel,” says Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Our advice is to avoid traveling during peak commuting hours.”