43 Million Americans Start Summer On The Road Memorial Weekend
Did you know Memorial Day Weekend is what most Americans call the Kick off of the Summer Vacation, 43 million Americans will start their Summers Vacations on Memorial Day weekend. This long holiday weekend, marks the unofficial start of summer vacation season for most, It typically sets the second-highest travel volume on records according to AAA since it started tracking holiday travelers back to 2000. Overall, an additional 1.5 million more people will take to the nation’s roads, rails and runways compared with last year, a 3.6% increase. Despite a rising national gas price average that comes each year around this time it inching closer to the $3 per gallon mark, which ironically is down drastically compared to years ago allowing the vast majority of holiday travelers to drive their destinations. For these motorists, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects travel delays on major roads could be more than three times longer than normal during evening commutes.
“Americans are eagerly anticipating the start of summer, and expensive gas prices won’t keep them home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Paula Twidale, vice president, AAA Travel. “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.”
By the numbers: 2019 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast
Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 37.6 million – will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 3.5% more than last year.
Planes: 3.25 million people will take to the skies, 4.8% more than last year, second only to 2005.
Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 3.8% to 1.9 million passengers.
Drivers beware: Worst times to hit the road
For the 37.6 million Americans traveling by automobile, drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24 in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip, while New Yorkers and Washington, D.C., could see three times the delay.
“Drivers in the most congested metros should expect much worse conditions than normal,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst, INRIX. “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.”
Higher gas prices won’t keep holiday travelers home. Gas prices have increased by more than 30 cents in the last two months with the national average approaching $3 per gallon ($2.86 on May 14, 2019), which is relatively on par with prices this time last year ($2.87 on May 14, 2018). However, 88% of travelers will choose to drive to their Memorial Day destinations this year, the most on record.
“When gas prices are expensive, travelers may shorten the distance of a road trip, eat out less or look for free activities,” said AAA gas price expert Jeanette Casselano. “But, overall, prices are very similar to this time last year and, like then, they aren’t letting that deter them from taking summer road trips.”
Travelers to see relief in lower hotel and car rental costs
While road trippers are paying more to fill up their vehicles at the gas pump, some of that additional expense can be made up with lower prices on car rentals and hotels this Memorial Day. Our research shows car rental prices have declined 7% compared with last year, with an average daily rate of $55. Mid-range hotels are between 2% and 3% cheaper this year, with an average nightly rate of $146 and $183, respectively. Meanwhile, airfares are holding steady compared with last Memorial Day, for an average roundtrip price of $171.
EveryDay Preppers will once more take to the roads ourselves and this Memorial weekend we will only be traveling to Huntsville, Alabama and we already anticipate road congestion due to Alabama highway interstate construction due to the last several years I- 20/59 rebuilding projects as well as the New Bridges & Interchange projects started in 2019 in and around Tuscaloosa & Birmingham, Alabama that are anticipated to be a several year project. While those projects were only sent to take several months, rumors are now they both got extended so it is anticipated holiday travelers can expect major delays in those areas and should prepare when traveling in or around those cities.
We have also personally see higher fuel cost in Louisiana as opposed to Mississippi and the cheapest fuel cost in Alabama over the past two months, but fuel cost have steadily have been creeping up and only going down slightly on a few weeks but as history has shown us, Holidays and Summer traffic always see’s higher fuel cost. We know it always comes and we should never be surprised!
Our best suggestion for this coming weekend is to be prepared! Take snacks and bottle water. Take games for the kiddos and take your time. Map out the best routes and also be prepared with mapping out alternative route if your primary routes are jammed up. Keep your vehicle fueled up. Make sure your vehicle A/C works if you can. Have your Emergency Kits and Go Bags in your vehicle and refer back to our earlier Blogs on how to build a Go Bag & Emergency Vehicle Kits for a Vehicle. Holiday Travel time is supposed to be fun, so don’t stress and don’t make it difficult for your family; take charge and make it the best time of your life. Have Fun & Safe Travels. If you make up too Huntsville, Alabama May 25th or 26th come check out our Mobile Store at the Von Braun Center for the Memorial Weekend Gun Show for Collectors & Shooters Company Annual Memorial Weekend Event. Thanks for following us and checking out EveryDay Preppers. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram and make sure you tell all your friends about us by sharing our article and web site on your social media channels. Thx, Rick, EveryDay Preppers