AAA: Slight Decrease Expected In Memorial Day Travel


UPDATED: Wednesday May 22, 2013 12:53 PM

Almost 35 million Americans are expected to travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That includes 1.31 million Ohioans.

During Thursday and Monday, 31.2 million Americans will drive 50 miles or more to a beach, campground or other getaway, according to car lobbying group AAA. That's a small increase from last year but still well short of the record 37.3 million people who drove during the holiday in 2005.

In Ohio, experts expect travel to be down slightly (1.4 percent) from 2012. AAA predicts around 1.2 million Ohioans will be driving more than 50 miles.

The expected decrease can be attributed to a sluggish economic recovery and the impact of sequestration, which is expected to be strongest during the second quarter of this year, according to an Ohio AAA news release.

Gas will cost slightly more this year. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline has risen 7 cents in the past week to $3.66 and could increase over the weekend. Gas averaged $3.64 last Memorial Day. Still, the price isn't expected to reach the 2011 Memorial Day average of $3.79.

A survey of intended travelers found that 62 percent of travelers will not alter their travel plans due to high gas prices.
 
The top 10 driving destinations for Ohioans hitting the road this Memorial Day holiday weekend, or throughout the summer, include:

1.    Myrtle Beach, SC
2.    Hilton Head, SC
3.    Orlando, FL
4.    Gatlinburg, TN
5.    Virginia Beach, VA
6.    Niagara Falls, ON
7.    Chicago, IL
8.    Nashville, TN
9.    Washington, D.C.
10.   Charleston, SC

AAA estimates that another 2.3 million travelers will fly over the weekend, down 8 percent from last year. That includes 64,000 Ohioans.

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