• Memorial Day Travel at Highest Level Since 2005 According to AAA

    May 23, 2017 No comments

    AAA Hoosier Motor Club LogoIndianapolis, IN – May 19, 2017 – AAA projects that 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.

    In Indiana, 850,713 residents will be on the go, 2.5 percent more than in 2016.

    “The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Greg Seiter, AAA Hoosier Motor Club public affairs manager. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel during this time.”

    The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.

    By the Numbers: Memorial Day Travel Forecast

    • 2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than in 2016.
    • 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.
    • 1.75 million travelers, an increase of  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. The national average price for a gallon of gas today is $2.35, nine cents higher than one year ago.

    An estimated 770,107 Hoosiers will drive to their respective destinations during the upcoming holiday period, a 2.4 percent increase from last year.

    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 and 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.

    Air travel is expected to increase 3.7 percent in Indiana this year, compared to Memorial Day 2016–an estimated 44,273 will fly.

    Airfares, hotel and car rental rates on the rise
    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 above 2016 numbers.

    AAA to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Memorial Day
    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 and Waze share perspectives on holiday travel
    According to Waze, the free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York are the busiest metro areas this Memorial Day weekend, based on last year’s accident and traffic jam data. For travelers visiting or driving through these cities, be aware of high traffic volumes on Thursday and Friday – New York City sees an average 27 percent increase in accident alerts on these two days.

    Many Memorial Day vacationers traveling abroad this year
    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. The top destinations for Memorial Day weekend, based on AAA travel bookings, are:

    1. Orlando, Florida
    2. Rome, Italy
    3. London, England
    4. Dublin, Ireland
    5. Vancouver, Canada
    6. Seattle, Washington
    7. Las Vegas, Nevada
    8. New York, New York
    9. Paris, France
    10. Honolulu, Hawaii

    According to Hertz, the busiest airport pick-up locations for travelers planning to rent a car this Memorial Day are expected to be Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Orlando (MCO), Atlanta (ATL) and Denver (DEN), based on data from 2016.

    Download the AAA Mobile app before a Memorial Day getaway
    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 travel 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.

    About AAA Hoosier Motor Club
    AAA Hoosier Motor Club is a fully tax-paying, not-for-profit corporation with more than 300 employees that offers membership benefits, emergency roadside service, insurance and travel agency services both online and through 14 retail outlets across the state. The 435,000-member affiliate of the American Automobile Association (AAA) works for the enhancement of safety and the overall improvement of travel conditions within its 50-county Indiana territory. AAA is the largest motoring and leisure travel organization in North America with more than 56 million members. Additionally, AAA Insurance has been protecting the cars, homes and financial security of Hoosiers for more than 80 years.

    For more information on AAA Hoosier Motor Club, please visit AAA.com.

    Posted by in Statewide News

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