Memorial Day travel expected to spike

From Travel Pulse

The unofficial start of summer has many Americans eyeing a getaway. Approximately 39.3 million to be specific.

That’s how many travelers AAA projects will venture at least 50 miles from home this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The estimate is the highest it’s been in 12 years and is up from 38 million a year ago.

Of the more than 39 million Americans expected to travel between May 25 and May 29, nearly nine out of 10 (34.6 million) will drive to their destination.

Interestingly, travelers appear to be unfazed by climbing gas prices. According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of gas is up 11 cents from last year to $2.34. Nonetheless, automobile travel is expected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2017.

Meanwhile, nearly 3 million Americans will fly to their destination for Memorial Day. The figure signals a 5.5 percent increase over 2016. The remainder of about 1.75 million American, will rely on cruise ships, trains and buses to escape town for the holiday weekend.

Like road trippers, air travelers are biting the bullet when it comes to spending.

AAA’s Leisure Travel Index found that average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 9 percent higher this Memorial Day compared to last. An average round trip ticket will cost roughly $181. Hotel costs and car rental rates are also up from last Memorial Day weekend based on AAA’s figures.

AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing Bill Sutherland attributes the rise in vacationers to a healthy travel industry.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” Sutherland said in a statement. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”

Americans will travel all over this Memorial Day, with many headed to Europe. According to AAA’s travel bookings, Rome, London, Dublin and Paris are among the top 10 destinations for 2017.

Orlando; Vancouver, Canada; Seattle; Las Vegas; New York and Honolulu round out the 10 most popular holiday stops this year.



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