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Lower Gas Prices Help Fuel Memorial Day Road Travel

AAA expects most U.S. drivers to pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2004.
AAA expects most U.S. drivers to pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2004. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Lower gas prices, a growing labor market and rising personal income will drive holiday travel for 38 million Americans expected to hit the road and fly the skies this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Northeast.

The holiday weekend period is defined as Thursday through Monday.

This year’s projections mark the second highest Memorial Day travel on record, AAA said. The highest was in 2005 when 44 million people traveled.

Of the 38 million:

  • 89 percent (34 million) will satisfy their wanderlust this year with a road trip, 2.1 percent higher than last year’s holiday.
  • 7 percent (2.6 million), a 1.6 percent increase, will travel by air this holiday weekend.
  • 4 percent (1.6 million), a 2.3 percent decrease, will use some other mode of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.

Based on AAA travel agency sales nationally, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Washington D.C. and New York are the top destinations for travelers this Memorial Day weekend.

In Connecticut, Mystic, the casinos and Connecticut’s theme parks are popular weekend trips.

AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2004. On the state level, Connecticut’s average gas price for a gallon of self-serve, regular is $2.39, 45 cents lower than this time last year.

Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 26 percent cheaper this year with an average round trip ticket costing $165.

Hotel costs are in line with last Memorial Day with AAA Three-Diamond properties averaging $183 a night and AAA Two-Diamond rated hotels averaging $151 a night.

Daily car rental rates are averaging $62, 3 percent less than last year.

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 62 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

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