Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Fri May 08 2015

AAA Expects Most Memorial Day Weekend Travelers Since 2005

Car Rental & Rail | Donald Wood | May 08, 2015

AAA Expects Most Memorial Day Weekend Travelers Since 2005

As Memorial Day approaches, the lower gas prices and improved job market have helped AAA estimate that over 37 million Americans will travel on the holiday this year.

According to The Associated Press, AAA—the non-profit federation of motor clubs throughout North America—reported last week that 37.2 million people will drive at least 50 miles for vacation between May 21 and May 25.

The estimated number of Americans hitting the road is the highest since 2005, 4.7 percent higher in 2015 than last year. Add in that nine out of every ten travelers will be driving to their destination, and vacationers should expect some traffic headaches.

As for the airline industry, AAA is reporting the number of people flying during the holiday will rise 2.5 percent. The company suggests a thriving stock market makes wealthier travelers more willing to book flights.

AAA president Marshall L. Doney released a statement about why travelers could be looking to travel this year, saying, “Following a harsh winter, many Americans are trading in their snow boots for flip flops and making plans to start the season with a vacation getaway.”

The 2015 numbers are expected to be the highest since 2005, but the 2015 final statistics should be well below those numbers. A decade ago, 44 million people traveled for the Memorial Day holiday, with 37.3 million driving.

Unfortunately, AAA is reporting that there will be a dip in other means of transportation such as buses, trains and cruise ships. It won’t be a huge drop, but the number is expected to decline from 1.7 million in 2014 to an estimated 1.6 million this year.

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