Photo Courtesy of Reuters
The northeastern US is preparing for a major winter storm that is expected to drop up to 3 feet of snow and bring near-hurricane-force winds. According to the National Weather Service, blizzard conditions are expected to affect more than 40 million people, including those in big cities such as NYC and Boston, where all forms of travel have been banned.
Photography by Getty Images
AAA predicts that 93.3 million Americans will hit the road during the holidays, making this Christmas travel season the busiest it’s been in 6 years. More people are taking road trips this year because finding a reasonably-priced airplane ticket is like finding a needle in a haystack.
A record 84.4 million people will drive at least 50 miles between Dec. 22 and Jan. 1, according to the reputable travel agency. That’s 90.5% of holiday travelers, up from 89.3% just 6 years ago. So what does that mean to you? Expect plenty of traffic jams, crowded rest stops and bumper-to-bumper lines near highway tolls.
Need tips for dealing with this inevitable headache? Pack a couple travel-size games and snacks to keep the kids preoccupied. We recommend checking out some helpful family travel tips from Mommy Points blogger, Summer Hull, before you head out the door. Our travel expert offers up advice on everything from flying with a baby for the first time to finding hotels with health food options.
One thing travelers aren’t too concerned about is gas prices, which have dropped 50 cents since September, according to AAA. The average price at the pump will range from $3.20 and $3.40 a gallon by New Year’s Day, but that’s still not enough of a reason to thwart travelers’ plans to drive.
Although more people will be on the road, the airports will be just as busy. We recommend heading to the airport earlier than you normally would to avoid long TSA security lines — especially on the weekend before Christmas, the day after Christmas and on Jan. 2. AAA’s economist John Heimlich expects 86% of the airplane seats to be filled with paying passengers, up from 85% last year.
Hundreds of flights have been canceled or delayed due to a major storm system making its way across the Midwest and headed for the East Coast of the US. Meteorologists predict that another storm on the West Coast may throw a wrench in travel plans next week; so before you head out the door, check out our weather forecast tool — powered by WeatherTrends360 — to find out if these 2 storms will affect your Christmas travel plans.
And if you’re headed to a big city, download The Layover app or peruse our airport guides to find out how you can kill some time during a lengthy layover.
A major snowstorm that slammed the Midwest has now moved to the Northeast region of the US. The storm hit Boston hard with rain and ice, forcing Logan airport to close.
Although the brunt of the storm has moved, Chicago O’Hare airport remains closed after the Windy City got socked with 19.5 inches of snow. The National Weather Service said winds of 20 to 30 mph will continue through most of the day.
In case you’re wondering, the recent snowstorm rivals the Christmas blizzard of December 2010. According to Huffington Post, 6,500 flights were cancelled Tuesday, and 4,600 were cancelled Wednesday, setting a new record in the airline industry.
If you can’t get enough snow, check out our slideshow of the Worst US Blizzards in history. Leave a comment, and tell us how you’re handling the recent wave of winter weather.