AAA: 38 million Americans Expected to Travel Memorial Day Weekend

AAA: 38 million Americans Expected to Travel Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend expects high travelers, according to AAA these projection are at more than 38 million Americans. That is the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record and the most since 2005.

Spurred by the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, about 700,000 more people will travel compared to last year, according to a press release from AAA. Locally, over 755,000 Wisconsin residents will travel, a 2.2 percent increase over last year.

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The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30.

A press release from AAA indicates that Americans paid the cheapest quarterly gas prices in 12 years during the first three months of 2016. AAA estimates that Americans have saved more than $12 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015.  The strong labor market and rising personal income are also motivating people to travel for Memorial Day this year.

Low gas prices driving increase in auto travel this Memorial Day

Nearly 34 million (89 percent) holiday travelers will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year as a result of lower gas prices. Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent over last year, with 2.6 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will fall 2.3 percent, to 1.6 million travelers.

Lowest Memorial Day gas prices in 11 years expected

AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2005. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline on Memorial Day 2015 was $2.74 and $3.66 the year before (find today’s average prices).

“Gas prices peak in most years before Memorial Day, which means we could see gas prices decline later this summer if normal trends apply,” said Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA Wisconsin. “The big wild card is the cost of crude oil, and no one has a good idea of where crude oil prices are headed later this year. If crude oil keeps going up, then we would see higher gas prices, but if crude remains flat then most drivers should pay the cheapest summertime gas prices in 11 years.”

AAA estimates that Americans have saved more than $18 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015. During the first three months of 2016, Americans paid the cheapest quarterly gas prices in 11 years. According to a recent AAA survey, 55 percent of Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip this year due to lower gas prices.

RELATED: Is Gas Cheaper During the Week or on the Weekend?

Airfares fall significantly this Memorial Day  

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 26 percent cheaper this Memorial Day, with an average roundtrip ticket costing $165. Hotel costs are in line with last Memorial Day. AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels will average $183, while a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel will average $151 nightly. Daily car rental rates will average $62, three percent less than last year.

AAA to rescue more than 350,000 motorists this Memorial Day

AAA expects to rescue more than 350,000 motorists during the Memorial Day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

Memorial Day travelers heading to warm weather destinations & cities

Many Memorial Day travelers will head to warm weather destinations and historic American cities to kick off their summer travels. The top destinations this Memorial Day weekend, based on and AAA travel agency sales, are:

  • Orlando
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Washington, D.C.
  • New York
  • Miami
  • San Francisco
  • Boston
  • Honolulu
  • Los Angeles
  • South Padre Island

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