AAA Projects Slight Increase in Memorial Day Travel

Travel will be up slightly this Memorial Day holiday despite high gas prices and increasing vacation costs, according to AAA.

Car rental rates are expected to fall 16 percent from last year, with renters paying an average of $31, almost $6 less than last year.

AAA estimates that 38.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday, a 1.7 percent increase from last year.

Approximately 32.1 million travelers (84 percent of all holiday travelers) expect to go by motor vehicle, a 1.8 percent increase from the 31.5 million who drove a year ago.

Another 11 percent of holiday travelers plan to travel by airplane, up 1 percent from last Memorial Day. A projected 1.9 million vacationers (5 percent of all holiday travelers) will travel by train, bus or other mode of transportation, about the same as a year ago.

Holiday auto travelers will find a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline at a nationwide average of $3.04–up 25 cents from a month ago and more than 15 cents higher than this time last year.

According to AAA, the greatest number of Memorial Day auto travelers will originate in the West with 7.6 million travelers, followed by the Southeast with 6.9 million; Midwest, 6.8 million; Northeast, 6.0 million; and Great Lakes, 4.8 million.

Research for Memorial Day travel is based on a national survey of 2,000 adults by the Travel Industry Association of American, which conducts special research for AAA.

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