Slightly more traffic expected this Memorial Day weekend

| 5/26/2006

Despite high fuel costs, travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be up slightly from last year, according to a new report from AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.

According to the report, 37.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday, a 0.9 percent increase from last year. Approximately 31.4 million travelers – or 84 percent of all holiday travelers – expect to go by motor vehicle, a 0.7 percent increase from the 31.2 million who drove a year ago.

Another 4.3 million people, representing about 11 percent of holiday travelers, plan to travel by airplane, up 1.5 percent from 2005. A projected 1.9 million people will travel during the holiday weekend by train, bus or other modes of transportation.

“High gas prices and increased vacation costs won’t deter Americans from traveling this Memorial Day,” said Gail Weinholzer, spokesperson for AAA Minnesota/Iowa, in a press release. “Families may travel closer to home or for fewer days but they will continue to take vacations and plan getaways.”

The greatest number of Memorial Day holiday travelers will originate in the West with 7.5 million travelers, followed by the Southeast with 6.9 million; Midwest, 6.7 million; Northeast, 5.8 million; and Great Lakes, 4.6 million.