Information courtesy of AAA.
AAA projects 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, an increase of 1.2 percent from the 34.3 million people who traveled one year ago. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28.
Automobile travel up 1.2 percent, air travel down 5.5 percent
Approximately 30.7 million people plan to drive to their destination, an increase of 1.2 percent from the 30.3 million who drove last year. Almost nine of 10 holiday travelers (88 percent) will take to the nation’s roadways during the Memorial Day weekend, keeping automobile travel in the traditional lead as the dominant mode of holiday travel transportation.
More than 2.5 million leisure air travelers will fly during the holiday weekend, a 5.5 percent decrease from last year’s 2.7 million air travelers. The remaining 4.5 percent of holiday travelers are expected to travel by other modes, including rail, bus and watercraft.
Primarily due to air travel being down this year, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be 642 miles, which is 150 miles less than last year’s average of 792 miles.
Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans
A survey of intended travelers found that 53 percent said recent increases in would not impact their Memorial Day travel plans. Of the remaining 47 percent of travelers who said gas prices would impact their travel plans, nine percent are planning to take a shorter trip, four percent will travel by an alternate mode of transportation and 34 percent will economize in other areas.
The average price of regular gasoline in Washington is $4.23 per gallon, 21 cents higher than one year ago.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. For more information, visit AAA’s website.