42 million are planning Memorial Day travel


High gas prices and travel congestion apparently won’t deter 42 million Americans from traveling over the Memorial Day weekend, according to the American Automobile Association.

The number orf travelers expected is 5 percent higher than 2017, and the most in a dozen years.

“The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said AAA Travel and Publishing Senior Vice President Bill Sutherland. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.”

According to AAA, here is how people are expected to travel during the holiday weekend:

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 36.6 million – will hit the road this Memorial Day, 4.7 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: 1 million people will travel by air, a 6.8 percent increase and the fifth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.4 percent to 1.8 million passengers.

If you’re going anywhere by car, AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict the worst highway congestion will happen on Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25, in the late afternoons as travelers mix with commuters leaving work.

Drivers will pay the most expensive Memorial Day gas prices since 2014. Gas prices averaged $2.72 in April, an increase of 33 cents from last year, due to expensive crude oil, record gasoline demand and shrinking global supply.

However, airfare, car rentals and most mid-range hotel prices are expected to be lower than previous Memorial Day weekends.

Orlando tops this year’s list of the most-visited Memorial Day destinations in the U.S., based on AAA advance travel bookings.

Cruises to Alaska, originating in Seattle and Anchorage, as well as warm-weather destinations in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Phoenix and southern California top travelers’ domestic itineraries this summer.

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Anchorage, Alaska
  6. Phoenix, Arizona
  7. Anaheim, California
  8. Boston, Massachusetts
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. New York, New York

If you’re thinking of or planning an overseas vacation, Europe is a major draw this year. Rome, Dublin and London are the most popular international travel destinations for Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA.

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