Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Fri May 20 2016

AAA Projects 38 million Americans Will Travel on Memorial Day Weekend

Features & Advice | Donald Wood | May 20, 2016

AAA Projects 38 million Americans Will Travel on Memorial Day Weekend

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Travelers are ready to hit the road for Memorial Day, and AAA is projecting that more than 38 million Americans will take a trip during the holiday weekend.

The current AAA projections would make this year the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume and the most since 2005. Due in part to lower gas prices and cheaper airline, hotel and car rental rates, AAA is estimating about 700,000 more people will travel this year compared to 2015.

AAA defines the Memorial Day holiday travel period as May 26 to May 30.

“Americans are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel in numbers not seen in more than a decade,” AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney said in a statement. “The great American road trip is officially back thanks to low gas prices, and millions of people from coast to coast are ready to kick off summer with a Memorial Day getaway.”

Lower gas prices will be a major factor in the increase in travelers on the road, as almost 34 million people will drive to their Memorial Day destinations this year, an increase of 2.1 percent from 2015. AAA is reporting that drivers in the United States will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2005, contributing to the increase in overall travelers on the roads.

On the other hand, air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent thanks in part to average airfares being 26 percent cheaper this Memorial Day. An estimated 2.6 million Americans will fly to their destinations this year.

While AAA is reporting average hotel rates will remain about the same, daily car rental rates are expected to three percent from last year. Traveling by cruises, trains and buses will drop by 2.3 percent this Memorial Day, though.

In addition, AAA has compiled a top-10 list of the most popular destinations for Memorial Day travel in 2016, based on and AAA travel agency sales:


•Myrtle Beach

•Washington, D.C.

•New York


•San Francisco



•Los Angeles

•South Padre Island


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