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Over 37 Million Americans Expected to Travel Over Memorial Day Weekend

Monday, May 11, 2015

 

With the economy stronger and gas prices lower, AAA Northeast projects 37.2 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during this Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 4.7 percent increase from the 35.5 million people who traveled last year, and the highest travel volume in a decade for the holiday.

Kicking off the summer driving season, 33 million travelers will be driving to their destinations.

Holiday air travel is expected to increase 2.5 percent to 2.6 million leisure travelers.

Travel by other modes of transportation including cruises, trains and buses, is expected to decrease 3.6 percent this Memorial Day, to 1.64 million.

Travelers will encounter higher average daily car rental and lodging costs this year, while airfares are down slightly compared to Memorial Day 2014.

 “Following a harsh winter, many Americans are trading in their snow boots for flip flops and making plans to start the season with a vacation getaway,” said Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Northeast Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs.

“AAA is expecting more Memorial Day travelers this year than any time in the past 10 years as confident consumers come out of hibernation ready to explore national parks, beach destinations and America’s great cities.,” Albert said.

With approximately 1,676,000 travelers, New England is projected to be up 5.1 percent over last year, slightly higher than the national average. More than 1.5 million New Englanders are expected to travel by car. Following the national trend, these figures are the highest they’ve been in ten years.

Tips for drivers

AAA expects to rescue nearly 350,000 motorists at the roadside this Memorial Day weekend, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists inspect their vehicle and check battery and tire condition before heading out on a holiday getaway. Members can download the AAA mobile app (AAA.com/mobile), visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown.

Hotel and car rental rates increase, airfares fall slightly

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, the average daily car rental rate this Memorial Day is $19 higher than last year. The average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is 16 percent higher this year at $144, while Three Diamond hotels will cost seven percent more, averaging $182. Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are two percent cheaper this year, falling to $222.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays.

 

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