Eight out of 10 the 36.1 million Americans who will be traveling over the Memorial Day weekend will travel 50 miles or more from home.
Last year, 35.5 million people were traveling, 1.5 percent fewer are traveling this year, said AAA Travel.
The 2014 forecast is 2.6 percent higher than the 10-year historical average and the second highest travel volume since 2000.
Eighty-eight percent of travelers – 31.8 million – will travel by automobile, an increase from 31.4 million last year, the travel organization said. Holiday air travel is expected to increase from 2.4 percent to 2.6 million for non-business travelers.
AAA Travel also said travelers will find slightly higher prices with airfares 6 percent higher, mid-range hotels up 2 percent, and car rentals costing 1 percent more.
“The winter blues appear to have given Americans the travel bug and a case of cruise cabin fever as travel for the holiday is expected to hit a new post-recession high,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA CEO.
Doney said as the economy continues to improve at a slow and steady pace, consumer spending is going up and consumers are traveling more.
The harsh winter was a hindrance to economic growth at the beginning of the year, he said.
AAA expects that most drivers will pay lower gas prices by Memorial Day weekend due to rising supplies. It expects holiday gas prices to be similar or even slightly less than last year’s national Memorial Day average of $3.63 per gallon.
The total spending for Memorial Day weekend for travelers is expected to be $4.8 billion, according to 24/7 Wall Street.
Although Memorial Day is a holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died serving in the nation’s military, it also is the unofficial start of summer for many Americans.
Traveling, going to a parade, decorating graves, hosting family and friends at a barbecue, relaxing, and even working are activities for many Americans on the holiday.