Even with gas prices at an all-time high, AAA expects more Americans will hit the road for Memorial Day Weekend.
The organization announced this week it projects 39.2 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day Weekend. That figure marks an 8.3% increase from a year ago.
The number of travelers still remains down slightly from pre-pandemic levels. AAA estimates that 42.8 million traveled for the 2019 Memorial Day Weekend.
Of those planning to travel for the holiday, most will do so by vehicle — 34.9 million. Three million are expected to travel by air while 1.3 million will do so by train or bus.
“Memorial Day is always a good predictor of what’s to come for summer travel,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “Based on our projections, summer travel isn’t just heating up, it will be on fire. People are overdue for a vacation and they are looking to catch up on some much-needed R&R in the coming months.”
On Wednesday, AAA announced that the average for a gallon of regular gas reached an all-time high of $4.56 nationwide.
Memorial Day Weekend could just be the start of a busy summer travel season.
“We saw a notable increase in our travel bookings in early spring, which is a strong indication of what to expect for summer,” said Twidale. “Despite inflation and higher gas prices, people want to travel and we believe they will find ways to do so without breaking their budget.”