NEW YORK (CBSNews) — A record number of Americans are traveling for the holidays. According to AAA, more than 107 million Americans will be away from home between Saturday (Dec. 23) and New Year’s Day. That includes more than 97 million who will be on the road.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Afrom Texas to the Northeast is making it difficult to fly and drive.
With less than 48 hours left before Christmas, icy conditions are complicating commutes for drivers across the Northeast and the Midwest.
At Burlington International in Vermont, snow blanketed runways. In Massachusetts, one commuter found a silver lining: “At least we’ll have a white Christmas, it’s good for the grandkids!”
According to AAA, 97 million travelers will drive to their destinations between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1. That’s up nearly 3 million compared to last year. Air travel is expected to increase just over 4 percent to 6.4 million fliers.
“LAX will be a busy place Saturday (Dec. 23) and Sunday (Dec. 24),” said AAA spokesperson Jeff Spring. He said it’s the ninth consecutive year for increased travel during the holidays..
And fliers on two legs and four at Los Angeles International Airport are feeling the impact.
“It’s crazy the traffic even getting here — I mean it is LA,” said one traveler.
“There are clearly more people traveling and its because they are having more confidence in the economy, they feel like they can spend more and so they are out there doing it,” Spring said. “They are flying and they are driving.”
It turns out many don’t care about being home for Christmas but are instead counting on family time in warm weather.
“Top ten destinations AAA found during this holiday season are all sunny climates,” Spring said. “Orlando is number 1, Anaheim is number 2 — followed by Cancun.”
A white Christmas with either snow or sand has people on the move to get to their destination ahead of the holiday.
Saturday is the busiest travel day Los Angeles International Airport with more than 250,000 people taking to the skies.Over the entire holiday, more than 4 million will use LAX. Experts say to avoid the crowds, try flying on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve.