Ah, Memorial Day. It’s our first big major holiday of the summer. In fact, it’s the unofficial start of the summer season. Most Americans get Monday off, so it’s a popular weekend for people to travel. Of course, let’s not forget the reason for the holiday is to honor fallen troops. We’re thankful for all their sacrifices.
If you plan on going on a trip this weekend, you won’t be alone. AAA says 43 million Americans will also be on the road along with you. The worst times to travel may be what you expect, but others are also making the same decision. They’ll try to find a non-peak time to hit the road. AAA says the worst time to leave would be Thursday evening.
Apparently, a lot of others have decided to take Friday off as well. Because the economy is doing so well and taxes are lower, more Americans have a few extra spending dollars. That’s what’s going to allow them to decide if they can afford a relaxing weekend trip at the cabin or having a BBQ with family and friends.
“Solid job and income growth have left Americans with a lot of disposable income in their pockets,” Robert Sinclair, a AAA New York spokesman, told USA Today. “Many have decided to spend their extra dollars on a trip, usually by car, in spite of higher gasoline prices.” The company expects this year to have 1.5 million more drivers than last Memorial Day weekend.
Gas Prices Have No Impact
One concern that doesn’t seem to be giving anyone pause is the national average price for a gallon of gas is near $3. It won’t be slowing anyone down this year. AAA predicts the increase in travelers this year will make it the second-highest volume since they started keeping track of the data back in the year 2000.
“Americans are eagerly anticipating the start of summer, and expensive gas prices won’t keep them home this Memorial Day weekend,” Paula Twidale, the vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement. “Consumer spending remains strong, helped by solid job and income growth. Families continue to prioritize spending their disposable incomes on travel, and near-record numbers of them are looking forward to doing just that for Memorial Day.”
“Drivers in the most congested metros should expect much worse conditions than normal,” Reed said in a statement. “Travelers should anticipate delays to start on Wednesday and continue through Memorial Day. Our advice to drivers is to avoid the morning and evening commuting times or plan alternate routes.”