AAA projects that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is 1 million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.
In Wisconsin, AAA projects over 766,000 residents will travel, an increase of 2.5 percent over 2016.
“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirror 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 Wisconsin are up 5.4 percent compared to the same period last year. Higher confidence and falling gas prices have bolstered consumer spending, leaving many Americans with more money to spend on travel this Memorial Day.”
The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.
By the Numbers: Memorial Day Travel Forecast
The year 2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than last year. Consider these figures from AAA:
• Roughly 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year. In Wisconsin, approximately 90 percent) 693,704 will travel by car.
• Approximately 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.
Travelers still hitting the road despite higher gas prices
While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015, 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.
More Americans are planning to rent cars for their holiday road trips this year. AAA’s car rental bookings are 19 percent higher than last Memorial Day. According to Hertz, the busiest day for car rental pick-ups is expected to be Friday, May 26, based on last year’s data.
Large increases in flying, travel by
other modes this Memorial Day
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.
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 9 percent higher this Memorial Day, with an average round trip ticket landing at $181. Hotel costs have also increased since last Memorial Day, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $215, or 18 percent more than last year. Daily car rental rates will average $66, which is 7 percent more than last year.
AAA offers tools to assist travelers
AAA mobile app - Travelers can use the free 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 review nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants.
GasPrices.AAA.com - Find average national, state and local gas prices; research top gas price trends, and use the "Gas Cost Calculator" to determine how much you can expect to spend on gasoline during your next road trip.
AAA.com/Travel - Book a hotel, flight, rental car, or cruise. Find travel ideas, hot cruise and land deals, review top destinations, purchase discounted attraction tickets, and find TripTik, tour books and Maps.
Cruise and Tour traveler reviews - View ratings and see what other travelers said about cruises and tour vacations they booked through AAA.
AAA.com/Diamonds - Search over 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA 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.
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 11 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.