Traveling this Memorial Day weekend? AAA Carolinas says you won't be alone

Javier Howell
May 25, 2017

But it looks like they may not be spending that extra money on more beach cocktails.

In Virginia, more than 1.1 million will travel for the unofficial start of summer, a 2.6 percent increase over previous year, according to AAA.

Warmer weather will entice many Idahoans to seek outdoor fun following an unusually severe winter.

She said Europe is a favorite worldwide destination for St. Louisans - particularly Italy, Ireland, Scotland, London and Paris - despite ongoing concern over terrorism incidents such as the bombing in Manchester, England, this week.

Wright says consumer confidence is the driving force behind the increase.

"Americans have spent years recovering from the 2009 recession", Conde said.

Most all of the travelers are heading out of their state of residence. AAA Travel estimates 1.8 million will be driving (up 1.8 percent from 2016), and 101,000 will be flying to their destination (a 3.1 percent increase from 2016). "Air travel is expected to increase 5.5 percent over the a year ago, with 2.9 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial day". Hotel costs have also increased since last Memorial Day, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $215, or 18 percent more than previous year. With those expected numbers and a strong summer travel season ahead, AAA wants to ensure the safety and security of every motorist.

"In the New England region we are looking at about 1.77 million people that will be traveling for the long weekend", said Sandra Marsian, AAA Vice-President for the Pioneer Valley. Hotel costs have also increased since last Memorial Day, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $215, or 18 percent more than past year. Airline ticket prices have also increased in recent weeks.

Waze, a traffic and navigation mapping app, predicts that traffic jams will increase 16 percent on Thursday and 20 percent on Friday, based on analyzing 2016 Boston traffic patterns over Memorial Day weekend.

"I think a lot of this is just basic economics - supply is down a little and demand is up". While lower gas prices will be a boon to drivers, road construction will be a challenge.

"If gas prices are a mild nuisance, they aren't likely to be anything else", Conde said. People who were using drugs while they're behind the wheel, drunk drivers, people who are distracted by their phones with phone calls and text messages.

This summer, the TSA is stepping up US airport security by deploying 50 more canine teams and 2,000 more TSA officers than previous year. Airfares, auto rental rates and mid-range hotels are trending higher than Memorial Day 2016.

AAA expects to help more than 330,000 motorists during the holiday weekend, with the main reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues.

AAA will give the motorist and up to one more person - and their vehicle - a free ride home within a 15-mile radius of point of pickup.

AAA East Central is combining efforts with the Pennsylvania State Police, the West Virginia State Police, the Ohio Highway Patrol, other law enforcement officials, and PennDOT to reduce crashes and injuries during Memorial Day and throughout the summer through the Operation C.A.R.E.

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