NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Kelvin Carr is filling up his tank at the Exxon gas station off West Trinity Lane. He’s more than happy to hit the road back to his hometown of Jackson, MI.
“My family is waiting on me so we’re gonna have a party!” Carr said.
Before that party begins, he’s got to get through the headache of holiday travel.
“It’s a lot of people traveling. I just see a lot of people traveling on the roads period,” Carr said.
Jallal Green is in the same boat, only he’s heading northwest.
“I’m coming from Atlanta and driving to Kansas City, stopping through in Nashville,” Green said.
So far, the ride’s been pretty smooth. He’s got 10 more hours, but he’d rather drive than fly.
“I know everybody’s trying to get around and airplanes are expensive. American Airlines make you travel uncomfortably now,” Green jokes.
AAA said more Americans than ever on record are traveling this holiday season. There will be 115.6 million traveling from Saturday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Jan. 1. More than 104 million of those travelers are driving. According to AAA, that means 3.9 million more people are expected to be on the roads compared to last year, an increase of 3.9%.
“I feel like around this time, around the holidays, it’s probably a lot cheaper to drive,” Haley Curtis said.
Thankfully Curtis doesn’t have to worry about bumper to bumper traffic. Her family is coming to Nashville for the holiday.
“The ones from Florida, they said it was pretty smooth until they kinda got to Nashville,” Curtis said.
INRIX, a global transportation company, said be wary the next two days after Christmas. According to INRIX, you can expect delays to be the worst on Thursday, Dec. 26, with afternoon delays reaching nearly double congestion-free drive times in major U.S. cities.
Heavy traffic or not, these travelers are ready to hit the road to see the ones that they love.
“I just hope everybody makes it to their destinations safely,” Green said.
With 4.9% growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the year-end holidays, with 6.97 million Americans expected to fly, the most since 2003.
AAA said this is the most traveling they’ve predicted in the nearly 20 years they began tracking holiday travel.
“Holiday cheer is at an all-time high this year, with unemployment at historically low levels, and noted improvements in both disposable income and household net worth,” said Paula Twidale, AAA Travel vice president. “Travelers should be getting used to crowded highways and airports, as this marks the eighth straight year of new record-high travel volumes for the year-end holidays.”