More Americans Are Hitting the Road for Memorial Day

AAA says Memorial Day travel should reach a new post-recession high.

More Americans Are Hitting the Road for Memorial Day Photo (cc) by faungg's photo

After an unusually long and cold winter across much of the U.S., many Americans are planning to hit the road (or skies) and get out of town for Memorial Day weekend.

AAA projects that more than 36.1 million Americans will travel over the holiday, a 1.5 percent increase from last year. According to a AAA press release, Memorial Day holiday travel is expected to reach a new post-recession high.

It appears that warmer weather and economic improvements are the driving factors behind the anticipated uptick in Memorial Day travel, which kicks off the summer travel season. AAA chief operating officer Marshall Doney said:

As the economy continues to improve at a slow and steady pace consumer spending, disposable income, consumer confidence and the employment outlook are trending up, which is welcomed news for the travel industry.

Here are a few interesting Memorial Day travel facts from AAA:

  • Planes, trains, automobiles. The vast majority (about 88 percent) of travelers plan to jump in the car and hit the road over Memorial Day.
  • Gas prices not a factor. According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, it appears that gas prices are holding steady for the Memorial Day weekend. Gas is averaging $3.65 across the country – about the same price as last year.
  • Travel expenses increase. Although fuel prices haven’t increased, airfares and car rental rates have gone up (about 6 percent and 1 percent, respectively). And hotel prices have increased about 2 to 3 percent.

I’m staying at home for Memorial Day. We’re celebrating both my kids’ birthdays this weekend, so we have several family members who are traveling at least four hours to come and visit.

What are your Memorial Day plans? Do you plan to travel? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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