AAA Projects Memorial Day Travel to Decline Slightly as Americans Drive More and Fly Less

AAA Travel projects 34.8 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 0.9 percent decrease from the 35.1 million people who traveled last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 23 to Monday, May 27.

“AAA is forecasting Memorial Day travel to experience a slight dip as lower gas prices and economic improvements from last year are not strong enough to spur an increase in travelers,” said AAA New York manager of media relations Robert Sinclair Jr.

Highlights from 2013 Memorial Day Travel Forecast include:

– Memorial Day holiday travelers to total 34.8 million, a decrease of 0.9 percent from the 35.1 million who traveled last year
– Eighty-nine percent of travelers (31.2 million) to travel by automobile, an increase from 31.1 million last year
– Holiday air travel expected to decrease eight percent to 2.3 million from 2.5 million in 2012
– Median spending is expected to decrease more than six percent to $659, compared to $702 in 2012 with transportation costs consuming about 28 cents of every travel dollar.
– Travelers intend to journey an average of 690 miles which is higher than last year’s average of 642 miles.
– Memorial Day holiday travel volume is expected to remain above the 12-year historical average of 34.7 million.
– 4.1 million will travel from the Mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA) region, 0.9 percent less than last year.
– Automobile Travel Only Mode of Transportation to Expect Increase

Approximately 31.2 million people plan to drive to their destination, an increase of 0.25 percent from the 31.1 million who drove last year. 3.7 million from the Mid Atlantic region will drive, a slight (0.2 %) decline from last year. Almost nine out of ten holiday travelers (89 percent) will take to the nation’s roadways during the Memorial Day weekend, keeping automobile travel in the traditional lead as the dominant mode of holiday travel transportation.