The typical holiday traveler this year will drive 275 miles of road.

Heading for home sweet home? The numbers behind holiday travel

To paraphrase the old Christmas carol favorite, there really is no place like home for the holidays. Written and published 60 years ago, these immortal lyrics penned by Al Stillman are every bit as applicable today as they were way back then. Case in point: the lengths to which the average person goes to get to their "home sweet home."

As busy as rush hour can be during a normal day of the week, it's that much more intense at Christmas time. Of the millions of people who will be traveling for Christmas, 91 percent of it is achieved by car. What's more, traffic volume increases by as much as 23 percent versus the rest of the year.

If you're one of the people who will be on the road this coming week, you may want to think about when you want to leave. Typically, people who travel between 50 and 99 miles are more likely to travel on Thursday rather than Wednesday. And over the entire holiday season, the average American traveler will cover 275 miles of road.

Where is everyone going other than their home? Depends on who you ask. In Texas, for example, San Antonians will no doubt be headed for the River Walk, a yearly occasion that gets everyone in the holiday spirit thank to the 6,000 candles lit along the walkway. Due east in New Orleans, holiday celebrations last the entire month of December, featuring theater performances and Hanukkah revelers taking in the giant 12-foot menorah on the Riverwalk. In the Northeastern half of the country, no holiday is complete without a visit to New York City's Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular, capped off with a picture in front of the Rockefeller Christmas tree a few blocks away.

Wherever home is for you during the holiday season, make sure you travel there safely. Make sure you give yourself plenty of space behind the car in front of you so that you'll have room to brake if the roads are slippery. Consider installing snow tires before heading out and when you're getting ready to head out, don't forget to pack emergency supplies in the off chance your car breaks down.

For more information on holiday travel as you journey home, visit