AAA: 37.2 Million Americans to Kick Off Summer with a Memorial Day Getaway

AAA: 37.2 Million Americans to Kick Off Summer with a Memorial Day Getaway

AAA Travel projects 37.2 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 4.7 percent increase from the 35.5 million people who traveled last year and the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years. Kicking off the summer driving season, 33 million travelers will be driving to their destinations. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 21 to Monday, May 25.

Highlights from 2015 Memorial Day Travel Forecast:

  • The 2015 Memorial Day forecast is expected to mark the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years, since 2005.
  • Most drivers will likely pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years. Today’s national average price of gas is$2.66, $1.00 less than the average price on Memorial Day last year.
  • The 4.7 percent increase over Memorial Day 2014 is the highest forecast growth rate for any of the holidays tracked by AAA sinceIndependence Day 2012.
  • More than 88 percent of travelers (33 million) will travel by automobile, an increase of 5.3 percent over last Memorial Day.
  • 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 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 Marshall L. Doney, AAA President. “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.”

A number of economic factors are contributing to the large increase in holiday travelers this year. “A strong employment market and low gas prices have driven consumer optimism to new highs and boosted Americans’ disposable income. This is welcome news for the travel industry,” continued Doney.

Impact of gasoline prices

Travelers continue to benefit from substantially lower gas prices compared to recent years. Today’s national average price is $2.66,$1.00 less than the average price for Memorial Day 2014. AAA predicts most U.S. travelers will pay the cheapest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years.

Tips for drivers

More than 88 percent (33 million) of holiday travelers will drive to their destination, a 5.3 percent increase from 2014. 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.

Hotel and car rental rates increase, airfares fall slightly

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, 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.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. For more information about AAA Travel, visit AAA.com/Travel.

Nearly 100 Million Americans Traveling This Holiday Season

I-95 Exit Guide - www.i95exitguide.comThe American Automobile Association (AAA) projects that 98.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of four percent from the 94.8 million people who traveled last year. This number is the highest growth rate for the year-end holiday season since 2009 and the highest travel volume for the holiday period on record. The year-end holiday period is defined as Tuesday, December 23 to Sunday, January 4.

“’Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans will join with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA President and Chief Operating Officer. “While the economy continues to improve at an uneven pace, it seems more Americans are looking forward with increasing consumer confidence, rather than looking back at the recession. This is helping to drive expected travel volumes to the highest level we have seen for the year-end holidays.”

“Lower gas prices are filling stockings with a little more cash to spend on travel this year as travelers are expected to pay the lowest prices since 2009,” continued Doney. “Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to set aside money for travel this year.”

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Gas Prices Will Likely Fall Below $2.50 by Christmas

Gas Prices | I-95 Exit GuideHoliday travelers will get an early Christmas gift this year as the average price for gasoline will most likely be at its lowest level in more than five years.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is now $2.55 per gallon. The average price at the pump is 12 cents less than one week ago and 36 cents less than a month ago. The national average is down 69 cents from this same date last year and has now dropped on 81 consecutive days for a total of 80 cents during this stretch.

Motorists are paying $1.15 less than the peak 2014 price, which was $3.70 on April 8. AAA estimates drivers are saving more than $400 million dollars each day compared to the high prices paid earlier this year.

More Than 46 Million Americans Traveling This Thanksgiving, Most Since 2007

Holiday Traffic | I-5 Exit GuideThe American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that 46.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That number represents the highest volume since 2007 and is a 4.2 percent increase over last year.

Nearly 90 percent of thanksgiving travelers will be taking to the road. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30.

The price of gasoline is something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday season. Gas prices have fallen to well below $3.00 a gallon and AAA predicts most U.S. travelers likely will pay the cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years.


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Thanksgiving Holiday Means Heavy Interstate Traffic Ahead

I-95 Richmond | Virginia DOTOne of the busiest travel holidays of the year, the Thanksgiving holiday means you’ll have plenty of company on the nation’s Interstate Highway system.

A new survey, just published by GasBuddy says 92% of Americans traveling for the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday plan to drive; and 71% are expect to spend less on their trip this year. The survey goes on to say that 31% travelers will be venturing over 500 miles and another 31% will travel between 200 and 500 miles. This year 92% will be driving while just 6.5% will fly.

“The Thanksgiving holiday is such a deeply-rooted part of who we are that families will always do what it takes to bring everybody together regardless of fuel prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “But the mood we’re getting from our survey results suggests that notably lower gas prices have brought a sense of relief, perhaps some optimism, and also a sense of caution.”

Other interesting facts from the survey…

36% say their Thanksgiving travel begins on Thanksgiving Day. 30% said it starts the day before; 18% say they’re hitting the road 2 to 3 days before.

25% say they’ll fight the tryptophan malaise and drive home later on Thanksgiving Day; but the majority, 42% say they’ll wait 2 to 3 days and drive home Saturday or Sunday. 22% of us expect to hit the road with a fresh start the next morning.

71 percent said they expect to spend less on Thanksgiving this year.

35 Million Traveling Labor Day Weekend 2014

I-95 Richmond | Virginia DOTThe American Automobile Association (AAA) is projecting that 34.7 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend. This number represents the highest number of travelers since 2008 and a 1.3 percent increase over last year.

Nearly 86 percent of travelers (29.7 million) will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before summer comes to a close and children head back to school.

The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, August 28 to Monday, September 1.

Automobile travel will increase by 1.4 percent this year, with 29.7 million travelers hitting the road. Nearly 8 percent of travelers (2.65 million) will travel by air, a 1 percent increase from last year.

With most U.S. consumers paying the lowest gas prices for early August since 2010, AAA expects gas prices to have little impact on the number of people traveling for Labor Day, though lower prices could help make travel more affordable.

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