AAA: MEMORIAL DAY TRAVEL HITS HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE 2005
BURNSVILLE, Mn. (May 17, 2017) – One million more travelers will take to the roads, skies, rails and water for Memorial Day this year; creating the highest travel volume for the holiday since 2005. AAA projects 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend.
“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Higher confidence and falling gas prices have bolstered consumer spending, leaving many Americans with more money to spend on travel this Memorial Day.”
The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.
By the Numbers:
Travelers Still Hitting the Road Despite Higher Gas Prices
- 2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than last year.
- 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.
- 2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent over last year.
- 1.75 million travelers, an increase of 2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.
- Drivers will pay higher Memorial Day gas prices than last year. Airfares, car rental rates and mid-range hotels are all trending higher than last Memorial Day.
"Memorial Day gas prices should be slightly above last year's levels in most markets," said Gail Weinholzer, spokesperson, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "The outcome of an OPEC meeting on production cuts next week will have a direct impact on the direction of gas prices heading into the holiday weekend and summer driving season. However, gas prices should not fluctuate to levels that would cause travelers to alter plans."
- While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay higher Memorial Day gas prices than last year, the vast majority of holiday travelers (88.1 percent) are still planning to hit the road.
- Automobile travel will grow by 2.5 percent this Memorial Day, with 34.6 million Americans planning a holiday road trip.
Large Increases in Flying and Travel by Other Modes this Memorial Day
Airfares, Hotel and Car Rental Rates on the Rise
- While road trips continue to reign supreme for Memorial Day, more Americans will fly, ride the train or bus, or take a cruise vacation compared to last year.
- Air travel is expected to increase 5.7 percent over last year, with 2.9 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day.
- Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 3.2 percent, to 1.75 million travelers.
More Americans Plan to Rent Cars for their Holiday Road Trips this Year
- 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.
Many Memorial Day Vacationers Traveling Abroad this Year
- AAA’s car rental bookings are 19 percent higher than last Memorial Day.
- According to Hertz, the busiest day for car rental pick-ups is expected to be Friday, May 26, based on last year’s data.
- Daily car rental rates will average $66, which is 7 percent more than last year.
AAA to Rescue more than 330,000 Motorists this Memorial Day
- 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.
- Travel to Europe is especially popular this year, due to the strength of the dollar.
- AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists 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 offers the following tools to assist travelers
- AAA mobile app- Travelers can use the free 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 review nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants.
- < >- Find average national, state and local gas prices; research top gas price trends, and use the "Gas Cost Calculator" to determine how much you can expect to spend on gasoline during your next road trip. < >- Book a hotel, flight, rental car, or cruise. Find travel ideas, hot cruise and land deals, review top destinations, purchase discounted attraction tickets, and find TripTik, tour books and maps. Cruise and Tour traveler reviews- View ratings and see what other travelers said about cruises and tour vacations they booked through AAA.
- < >- Search over 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA 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.here.