Slightly more Floridians -- about 4.8 million -- are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home for the 2012 year-end holidays, travel group AAA announced Thursday.
The majority of them (4.3 million) will travel by car during the Dec. 22 through Jan. 1 holiday period, AAA said.
Roughly 4 percent more Floridians or 267,514 -- are also expected to hop on planes, while others will travel by train, bus or cruise ship this holiday season than a year ago.
"The year-end holiday season remains the least volatile of all travel holidays as Americans will not let economic conditions or high gas prices dictate if they go home for the holidays or kick off the New Year with a vacation," said AAA Travel Vice President Brent Hubele, in a statement.
Nationwide 93.3 million Americans are expected to travel during the period, up 1.6 percent from last year, AAA said.
A bonus for travelers this year are lower holiday airfares and falling pump prices, although the cost of gas is still at record highs for this time of year, according to the travel group.
The lowest average round-trip fare for the top 40 U.S. air routes this year is $203, down about 3 percent from 2011, the travel group said.
In South Florida, the price for a gallon of regular gas on Thursday averaged $3.38 to $3.43 compared with $3.35 to $3.39 a year ago, according to the AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
Nationwide however mid-range hotel prices have climbed about 3 percent this holiday to an average room rate of $95 per night, while daily car rental costs will average $56, up 41 percent from 2011, the travel group said.
Separately Thursday, the trade group Airlines for America said it expects nearly 42 million travelers to fly on U.S. airlines between Dec. 17 and Jan. 6.
Planes should be about 85 percent full for the holiday period and up to 90 percent on the busiest days, which are expected to be Dec. 21 to 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, the trade group said.
At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, airlines have about 4 percent more seats available this December than last, and that could mean more passengers this season, officials said.
"The busiest day is expected to be Dec. 29 from 10 a.m.--noon when an estimated 10,204 passengers will come and go through our terminals," airport spokesman Greg Meyer said.
Meanwhile officials at Palm Beach International Airport are expecting normal traffic for the holiday period.
At Miami International Airport holiday passenger traffic forecasts weren't available Thursday, but are expected next week, spokesman Marc Henderson said.
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