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Record number of Americans traveling this Memorial Day

Traffic IMG_6854About 37.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 4.7 percent increase from the 35.5 million people who traveled last year, AAA Travel projects.

This is the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years.

Of those traveling, 33 million people will be driving to their destinations. That’s 88 percent, an increase of 5.3 percent over last Memorial Day.

Most drivers will likely pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years. On May 8, the national average price of gas was $2.66, $1 less than the average price on Memorial Day last year.

Holiday air travel is expected to increase 2.5 percent to 2.6 million travelers.

Consumers will encounter higher lodging costs this Memorial Day, while airfares are down slightly compared to Memorial Day 2014.

A number of economic factors are contributing to the large increase in holiday travelers this year, said Marshall L. Doney, AAA president.

“A strong employment market and low gas prices have driven consumer optimism to new highs and boosted Americans’ disposable income,” Doney said.

Copyright 2015, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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