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AAA: Nearly 43 Million Americans Will Kick Off Summer With a Memorial Day Getaway

AAA Expected to Rescue More Than 353,000 Motorists

 LEXINGTON, Ky. — Nearly 43 million Americans will kick off their summers with a Memorial Day weekend getaway, according to forecasts by AAA.
The long holiday weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer vacation season, will see the second-highest travel volume on record for the holiday since AAA began tracking volumes for Memorial Day travel in 2000. This year’s anticipated number of travelers is surpassed only by the record set in 2005. Overall, an additional 1.5 million more people will take to the nation’s roads, rails and runways compared with last year, a 3.6 percent increase.
“Americans are eagerly anticipating summer’s start and lower gas prices are fueling Memorial Day weekend travel,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, manager, public and government affairs, AAA Blue Grass. “Consumer spending remains strong, helped by solid job and income growth. Families continue to give priority to travel when they decide how they will spend their disposable income. Near-record numbers of them are looking forward to doing just that for Memorial Day.”
Orlando, New York City and Las Vegas are the top destinations in the U.S. this Memorial Day weekend, based on advance AAA Travel bookings. For those traveling internationally, Europe is the destination of choice, with Rome, London, Dublin and Paris the most popular locales.
Motorists Urged to Avoid Peak Travel Times
The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations. INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, says these motorists can expect travel delays on major roads to be more than three times longer than normal during evening commute time. Large metro areas will experience the biggest delays.

“Travelers should anticipate delays to start on Wednesday and continue through Memorial Day. Our advice to drivers is to avoid the morning and evening commuting times or plan alternate routes,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst, INRIX.
INRIX predicts motorists will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 23, and Friday, May 24, in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.
Planes, trains and automobiles: travel forecast breakdown ...Read more