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Memorial Day Travel Expected to Near Record High

Around 43.8 million Americans will travel during Memorial Day weekend-the highest in nearly two decades, AAA projections showed on Monday in what would be a near-record unofficial start to summer travel in the U.S.  

AAA expects 43.8 million Americans to head 50 miles or more from home by all means of transportation over the Memorial Day holiday travel period between Thursday, May 23, and Monday, May 27, 2024.   

If this projection pans out, this year's total number of travelers for Memorial Day would be a 4% increase over last year and comes close to matching the record of 44 million Memorial Day travelers from 2005, AAA notes.

"We haven't seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years," Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel, said in a statement.

"We're projecting an additional one million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, which not only means we're exceeding pre-pandemic levels but also signals a very busy summer travel season ahead." 

The expected high number of travelers is a marked rebound from 2020 and the following two years and signals that summer travel - and fuel demand - in the U.S. will be booming again.

"There's been a psychological shift around travel," AAA spokeswoman Aixa Diaz told Bloomberg in an interview on Monday.

"We were so restricted in where we were able to go and what we were able to do, now people are willing to spend their money on experiences rather than just things."

AAA expects road trips to set a record-high-38.4 million people are set to travel by car over Memorial Day weekend, the highest number for that holiday since AAA began tracking in 2000. The number of drivers this year is up 4% compared to last year and 1.9% higher than in 2019.

This Memorial Day weekend drivers can expect similar gas prices as last year when the national average was roughly $3.57 per gallon, AAA said.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.  More