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More Americans traveling during Memorial Day holiday, but they’re spending less

The number of Americans traveling on vacation this Memorial Day holiday weekend will increase 5.4 percent from 2009 with about 32.1 million travelers taking a trip away from home, AAA predicts. Last year, 30.5 million Americans traveled during the same period.

151572326Atlanta,%20Traffic[1] Improved economic performance from a year ago is causing more Americans to take vacations this weekend, said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services.

Trips by auto are expected to increase with 87 percent or 28 million people reaching their destination by driving. This is an increase of 5.8 percent from last Memorial Day.

Air travel also is expected to grow slightly with 2.15 million holiday flyers. This would be an increase of 2.4 percent from one year ago.

Other methods of travel – including rail, buses, and watercraft – will be used by 6 percent of all travelers.

The average distance traveled by Americans this Memorial Day weekend is forecast to be about the same as one year ago, 626 miles compared to 620 in 2009, AAA reports.

Median spending is estimated to be $809 this Memorial Day. This is a sizeable reduction from a year ago, when Americans reported average spending plans of $1,052.

Sixty-one percent of Americans will spend time with friends and relatives over the holiday.

Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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