41 Million Americans Will Travel This Memorial Day, Despite Highest Gas Prices In Four Years
The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that more than 41.5 million Americans plan to travel 50+ miles over Memorial Day weekend this year — the largest volume of vacationers on the road since 2005.
“A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president at AAA.
Despite gasoline prices at highest over four years, the nation’s largest automotive advocacy group, travel by car is expected to increase for the fourth consecutive year, up by almost 5% compared to Memorial Day 2017. Gas, which averaged $2.72 in April 2018, has increased by $0.33 since the same month last year due to rising crude oil prices and increasing demand. (If you're one of those drivers, check out our tips on the best cards for rising gas prices.)
Aviation travel will see the highest growth margin across all modes of transportation with an estimated 3.13 million travelers hitting the airports, an estimated 6.8% increase from 2017 volumes. The rise may be correlated to cheaper airfare, which averaged 7% lower than Memorial Day 2017 travel fares according to the AAA Travel Leisure index, hovering around a $168 round-trip average ticket price between the top 40 domestic routes.
This year, Memorial Day weekend begins Thursday, May 24, and ends Monday, May 28.