The Best and Worst Days for Christmas Travel 2022 According to AAA

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The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates 112.7 million people will journey 50 miles or more away from home from December 23 to January 2. That’s an increase of 3.6 million people over last year and closing in on pre-pandemic numbers. Christmas travel 2022 is expected to be the third busiest year for holiday travel since AAA began tracking in 2000.

INRIX, a provider of transportation analytics and insights, expects the most congested days on the road to be Friday before Christmas, December 27 and 28, and on Monday, January 2, as travelers mix with commuters. In major metros, especially in Los Angeles and New York City, drivers could experience double the typical delays. Nationwide, drivers could see travel times up to 25% longer.

“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. If schedules allow, leave bright and early or after the afternoon commute.”

Day/DateWorst Travel TimeBest Travel Time
Friday, December 23, 20224:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 24, 202212:00-6:00 PMBefore 11:00 AM, After 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 25, 2022
Minimal Traffic Expected
Monday, December 26, 20222:00-6:00 PMBefore 12:00 PM, After 7:00 PM
Tuesday, December 27, 20223:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
Wednesday, December 28, 20223:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
Thursday, December 29, 20223:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
Friday, December 30, 20223:00-7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, After 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 31, 2022
Minimal Traffic Expected
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Minimal Traffic Expected
Monday, January 2, 202234:00-7:00 PMBefore 3:00 PM, After 8:00 PM

Source: INRIX

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