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May 17, 2017
AAA: Memorial Day Travel at Highest Level Since 2005

39.3 Million Americans Expected to Travel This Memorial Day Weekend

AAA projects 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “So far in 2017, travel bookings with AAA in North Dakota are up 18.8 percent, compared to the same period last year. Higher confidence, rising wages, and recent gas price declines have bolstered consumer spending, leaving many Americans with more money to spend on travel this Memorial Day.”

By the Numbers
 

  • 2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than last year. The West North Central region, which includes North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and four other states, travel is expected to increase 2.5 percent.
  • 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.
  • 2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent over last year.
  • 1.75 million travelers, an increase 2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.
  • Drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015. Airfares, car rental rates and mid-range hotels are all trending higher than last Memorial Day.
Gas Prices

While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay higher gas prices than last year, the vast majority of holiday travelers (88.1 percent) are still planning to hit the road. Automobile travel will grow by 2.4 percent this Memorial Day, with 34.6 million Americans planning a holiday road trip. The national and North Dakota average price for a gallon of gas today is $2.33, less than a dime higher than last year when the average hit its lowest point since Memorial Day 2005.

Taking Flight

While road trips continue to reign supreme for Memorial Day, more Americans will fly, ride the train or bus, or take a cruise vacation compared to last year. Air travel is expected to increase 5.5 percent over last year, with 2.9 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 2.9 percent, to 1.75 million travelers.

International Travel

While the vast majority of travelers are planning a Memorial Day road trip, many other Americans will take advantage of the long holiday weekend and travel internationally, with Europe especially popular this year.  Multiple European countries landed on AAA’s top 10 destinations due to pent-up demand and favorable exchange rates.

Rescuing Motorists
AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Memorial Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues.  AAA recommends motorists have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

AAA Mobile app

Before setting out for Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.


About the Forecast
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.
 

Contact(s):

Gene LaDoucer
phone: 701.893.3759
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.


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