(Coppell, TX) – AAA Texas forecasts that 3.2 million Texans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. The number of Texans travelling this year 2.6 percent higher than last year and is the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.
“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”
By the Numbers: Memorial Day Travel Forecast
Auto Travel - 2.8 million Up 2.4%
Air Travel - 234,000 Up 5.0%
Other Travel (Bus, Train or Cruise Ship) – 159,000 Up 2.4%
Total Texas Travel – 3.2 million Up 2.6%
Travelers still hitting the road despite higher gas prices
The vast majority of holiday travelers are still planning to hit the road. Automobile travel will grow by 2.4 percent this Memorial Day, with 2.8 million Texans planning a holiday road trip. The statewide average price in Texas for a gallon of regular unleaded gas today is $2.17, which is 17 cents more than last year.
Large increases in flying
While road trips continue to reign supreme for Memorial Day, more Texans will fly compared to last year. Air travel is expected to increase 5 percent more than last year, with 234,000 Texans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, are expected to increase 2.4 percent, to 159,000 travelers.
Airfares, hotel and car rental rates on the rise
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 9 percent higher this Memorial Day, with an average round trip ticket landing at $181. Hotel costs have also increased since last Memorial Day, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $215, or 18 percent more than last year. Daily car rental rates will average $66, which is 7 percent more than last year.
AAA to rescue more than 330,000 motorists Nationwide this Memorial Day
AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists across the country this Memorial Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. AAA recommends motorists have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.
AAA and Waze share perspectives on holiday travel
According to Waze, the free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York are the busiest metro areas this Memorial Day weekend, based on last year’s accident and traffic jam data. For travelers visiting or driving through these cities, be aware of high traffic volumes on Thursday and Friday – New York City sees an average 27 percent increase in accident alerts on these two days.
Many Memorial Day vacationers traveling abroad this year
While the vast majority of travelers are planning a Memorial Day road trip, many other Americans will take advantage of the long holiday weekend and travel internationally, with Europe especially popular this year. The top destinations for Memorial Day weekend, based on AAA travel bookings, are:
Las Vegas, Nevada
New York, New York
According to Hertz, the busiest airport pick-up locations for travelers planning to rent a car this Memorial Day are expected to be Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Orlando (MCO), Atlanta (ATL) and Denver (DEN), based on data from 2016.
Download the AAA Mobile app before a Memorial Day getaway
Before setting out for Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.
About the travel forecast: AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast is available here. Gas prices up to date at press time using market prices posted May 17, 2017, at 3:41 a.m.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 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. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA Texas branch offices throughout the state can be found by visiting www.AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.
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