Traffic from Seoul to the provinces is forecast to peak on the morning of Jan. 30, and traffic back to Seoul on the afternoon of Jan. 31, Lunar New Year's Day.
In a telephone survey of 9,000 households nationwide by the Korea Transport Institute on Jan. 2-6, 40.6 percent of respondents said they will leave for their ancestral hometowns on the morning of Jan. 30. Next came the morning of Jan. 31 (19.6 percent), the afternoon of Jan. 30 (16.7 percent), and the afternoon of Jan. 29 (9.8 percent).
For the return journey, 32.9 percent said they will set off for Seoul on the afternoon of Jan. 31. This was followed by the afternoon of Feb. 1 (27.4 percent), the morning of Feb. 1 (14 percent), and the afternoon of Feb. 2 (10.4 percent).
Both the homebound trip and the return journey to Seoul will take up to 20 to 30 minutes longer than last year.
A daily average of 5.54 million people will travel during the holidays, up 60,000 or 1.1 percent on-year. More people said they would spend time by themselves by cutting the number of days they visit their families or in-laws.
In 2012, the biggest proportion said they would spend three days in their hometowns, but since last year most prefer shorter stays.
Meanwhile, KORAIL is offering discounts of up to 50 percent for some KTX bullet trains starting 9 a.m. on Wednesday for travelers who want to spend the holidays in Seoul.