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Memorial Day travel projected to be highest in 14 years – PennLive


Expect to see more traffic than usual on Memorial Day weekend, even by holiday weekend standards.

AAA projects the second-highest number of Memorial Day weekend travelers since the organization began projections in 2000. About 43 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday weekend, an increase of 1.5 million (3.6 percent) over last year, AAA predicts. Only 2005 saw more Memorial Day weekend travelers, according to AAA.

More than 1.32 million Pennsylvanians are expected to travel over the holiday weekend, an increase of 3.5 percent over last year, AAA projects.

Most of those traveling will be driving on the weekend often called the unofficial start of summer. AAA projects 37.6 million Americans will be driving over Memorial Day weekend, a 3.5 percent increase and the most on record for the holiday.

The projected uptick in holiday travel comes despite high gas prices nationwide. The national average for regular gas is $2.86, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge.

Pennsylvania boasts some of the highest prices in the nation, at $3.01 per gallon, according to AAA. But that’s actually a bit lower than it was a year ago at this time; regular gas was $3.04 in the Keystone State last year.

Price drops: car rentals, hotels

While gas prices remain on the high side, it should be cheaper to rent a car or stay in a hotel, AAA projects.

Car rental rates, on average, have dropped to $55 per day, a 7-percent decrease, AAA reports.

Mid-range hotel prices have dropped between 2 and 3 percent, AAA projects. AAA says its Two-Diamond hotels cost $146 per night, on average, while Three-Diamond hotels cost $183.

Flying

About 3.25 million people will fly over the holiday weekend, an increase of 4.8 percent more than last year.

Airfares are holding steady compared to last Memorial Day weekend, with the average roundtrip airfare of $171.

Travel resources

PennLive: Get a look at conditions on local roads — via PennDOT traffic cameras — anytime here on PennLive. Tweet us at @pennlive with any incidents you see or send a submission to submissions@pennlive.com.

511: 511 shows traffic conditions on roads across the commonwealth. You can also download the 511 app.

Turnpike: The Pennsylvania Turnpike website offers information on traffic conditions on the toll road. The turnpike’s Trip Talk app offers free alerts on your smartphone.

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