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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The summer driving season is about to get off to an excellent start.
Nearly 34 million Americans will hit the roads during Memorial Day weekend, a 700,000-increase compared to the same holiday period last year, predicts AAA. The Memorial Day holiday this year is defined as May 26 to May 30.
Those who do decide to take a road trip will have a lot a to cheer about, namely low gas prices. National average gas prices stood at $2.26 per regular gallon on Thursday, 45 cents less than the same date in 2015. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2005.
Americans have saved $18 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, AAA estimates.
In addition to low gas prices, a strong labor market and rising personal income are also motivating people to travel for Memorial Day this year, the trade group stated.
“Americans are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel in numbers not seen in more than a decade,” said Marshall Doney, AAA president and CEO. “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.”
The approximate 34 million Memorial Day drivers will make up 89 percent of all Americans planning to travel over the holiday weekend. This is an increase of 2.1 percent compared to last year.
Air travel is expected to increase by 1.6 percent vs. last year, with 2.6 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will fall 2.3 percent to 1.6 million travelers.