Nearly 1.2 million Kansans expected to travel for holidays

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WICHITA – It’s just days before Christmas and many bags and cars were packed statewide as vacation adventures awaited. estimated to travel more than 50 miles from home in 2021, an increase of about 3% compared to travel volume in 2021. AAA stipulates that the end of the year travel period is from December 23rd to January 2nd.

However, all of these forecasts could be impacted by “bomb cyclones,” large winter storms that disrupt travel in nearly every state.

As with most travel vacations, more than 9 in 10 travelers, or more than 1.1 million Kansasans, plan to drive to their vacation destination. The number of road travelers is slightly higher than last year, said AAA Kansas spokesman Shawn Steward.

“The good news is that drivers will definitely see the lowest gas prices of the year. Kansas gas average is 20 cents cheaper than it was a year ago,” Steward said.

In fact, after October 2021, gas prices will not be this low, nationally or regionally. The national average on Dec. 18 was $3.14 for him, and a year ago he was $3.30. The price in Kansas is $2.79 (his 10th cheapest in America), and a year ago he was $2.99.

“The seasonal pattern of less driving due to shorter days, combined with lower oil costs, is driving gasoline prices down,” the Steward added. “This trend has driven average gas prices below $3 a gallon in about 20 states in recent weeks.”

to the sky

INRIX, a provider of traffic analytics and insights, expects the busiest days on the roads to be the Friday before Christmas, December 23rd, and December 27th and 28th. Another busy day on the roads with a mix of tourists and commuters on Monday, January 2nd.

This holiday season brings flight and airport congestion reminiscent of the pre-pandemic days. Demand for flights is soaring despite rising ticket prices. AAA expects about 50,000 Kansas residents to fly during the holidays, a 16.2% increase from last year.

Like Thanksgiving, airport parking is tough.

“Airport parking spaces fill up quickly, so book a spot in advance and arrive early,” the steward suggested. “Expect long lines at TSA. If possible, avoid checking bags so you have flexibility in case your flight is delayed or you need to reschedule.”

Other transportation

Consistent with national travel trends, other modes of transportation will make the biggest leap to holiday travel just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA expects more than 38,000 Kansasians to travel by cruise, bus, train or other transportation during the holidays, up 24.2% from last year.

“Travel by other means has been the slowest sector to recover post-pandemic, but as travel restrictions are lifted and more people are comfortable using public transport again, cruises, buses , or it should come as no surprise that interest in trains has returned significantly.” added the steward.

National forecast

Nationwide, AAA Forecast:

• Between December 23rd and January 2nd, approximately 113 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home. This is about 3%, or 3.6 million more than last year, but still about 5% less than the pre-pandemic figures. .

• Approximately 102 million Americans drive to their vacation destinations.

• An additional 2 million people are expected to drive to their destinations this holiday season, up 2% from 2021.

• Air travel is expected to increase 14% from last year, with approximately 7.2 million Americans expected to fly.

• Other modes of transport have also recovered significantly.

• AAA expects bus, rail and cruise ship travel to rise to 3.6 million this holiday season, up 23% from last year and almost 94% of 2019 volume.

battery service tips

AAA has seen an increase in the number of car batteries in need of replacement for most of the year, and expects the same to happen this winter, when the cold weather will be more of an issue. With that in mind, AAA is urging drivers, especially those whose batteries may be several years old, to get an inspection now rather than risk being stranded on the side of the road in adverse conditions. I’m here.

“We’ve been lucky to have mostly mild weather, including Thanksgiving weekend, but very cold temperatures are expected this week, and the coldest part of winter is fast approaching,” the steward said.

• Start the engine – Even if you don’t commute or leave the house every day, start your vehicle every few days to make sure the battery is fully charged.

• Keep the battery clean – Periodically open the hood and inspect the battery terminals for corrosion. If you see any stains, wipe them off with a small, stiff brush and a solution of baking soda and water. Rinse the battery with water after removing the corrosion.

• Make sure the terminal connections are not loose. If it is loose, tighten it with a wrench.

• Get your battery checked – The average battery life is 3-5 years. Basic vehicle maintenance should include a battery check before hitting the road. Book a car health check. Today’s test equipment can often help you understand the remaining battery life.

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