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Record-number of travelers expected to take the roads, skies for Christmas

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NEW YORK – A record-breaking 100 million Americans are expected to travel over the four-day Christmas holiday period.

Whether it's the roadways or the airport, huge numbers are expected.

Nationally, the worst day to travel during the week of Christmas is Wednesday.

Driver typically hit the roads for holiday travel around 11 a.m. and peaks that afternoon between 3 and 6 p.m. as more motorists leave work early for holiday travel.

Flyers can also expect New York City metropolitan area airports to be mobbed.

Between December 17 and January 1, almost 6 million passengers will fly through the JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports.

JFK will see 2.5 million flyers and 1.6 million people will travel through LaGuardia. Another 1.7 million will fly to or from Newark.

Airfares are down 6 percent, an average of $174 a flight roundtrip compared with last year, according to the AAA.

But the bad news – hotel and car rental prices are up.

More than 90 percent of Americans who take trips will drive, or more than 91 million people.

AAA says they expect almost a million drivers will be stranded and call the association for help, due to flat tires, dead batteries and motorists locked out of their cars. Another 5.8 million people will fly. 2.5 million travelers will take buses, trains and cruises.

Sunday – the end of the holiday weekend – is also a nightmare on the roads, with a combination of heavy traffic congestion, traffic crashes and other police alerts. If drivers can take off Monday , it's a much smoother day to drive home.