Christmas 2021 travel: Expect to pay more for just about everything, AAA says

Holiday travelers should brace themselves now to pay more for just about everything during the next two weeks, as accommodations and transportation costs continue climbing, according to AAA.

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More than 109 million Americans are expected to travel during the 11-day Christmas holiday travel season, which stretches from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2.

The nonprofit federation of North American motor clubs offered the following snapshot:

  • Airfare for Christmas week is up 5% from last year, with the average lowest round-trip fare of $154 for major U.S. destinations.
  • Airfare closer to New Year’s is expected to cost 27% more in 2021, with the average lowest fare of $182.
  • Mid-range hotel rates have increased 36% year-over-year among AAA-approved hotels for Christmas travel, with an average nightly rate of $320.
  • The average nightly mid-range hotel rate for New Year’s Eve, however, should average $267.
  • Average gas prices nationwide are hovering $1.25 more per gallon than they were one year ago.
  • The average rate for Christmas car rentals has increased 20% compared with 2020, with the average lowest daily rate of $130.
  • The average rate for New Year’s car rentals has increased 65% for an average lowest daily rate of $103.

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