A near-record number of Arizonans are expected to travel during one of the busiest holiday periods AAA has tracked in more than 20 years.

More than 115.2 million people are expected to travel between December 23 and January 1. That number is 2.2 percent higher than last year and marks the second-highest number since 2000.

More than 2.2 million Arizonans will be among those packing their bags, making it second only to the 2019 record as one of the busiest travel periods in recent memory.

“The travel outline for the year-end holidays echoes what we’ve been seeing in travel throughout 2023,” said Brian Ng, Senior Vice President of Membership and Travel Marketing for AAA Arizona. “Despite high costs, more Americans are prioritizing creating memories with loved ones and exploring new destinations.”

AAA Arizona offers five holiday travel tips:

  • Check the forecast. Stay ahead of unexpected flight disruptions by monitoring real-time updates on your airline’s website or mobile app. 
  • Avoid air travel mishaps. Consider reserving an airport parking spot, avoid checking in luggage if possible, and know your travel rights.
  • Travel during off-peak periods. Drivers should anticipate up to 20 percent longer travel times nationwide. Opt for off-peak periods before 2 p.m. or after 8 p.m., if possible. The heaviest congestion is expected Saturday, December 23 and Thursday, December 28. 
  • Vehicle readiness. Ensure a stress-free road trip with a pre-trip inspection at a AAA Auto Repair Center to ensure your vehicle is road-ready. AAA expects over 900,000 travelers to seek roadside assistance nationwide over the year-end holidays.
  • Fuel efficiency. Use the AAA Mobile App’s newly added Apple Carplay features to locate the lowest gas prices along your route. The app can also be used to download a digital AAA Membership card, request roadside assistance, and access EV features.