ORLANDO, Fla., (AP) - According to AAA, more than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years.
INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects travel delays on major roads could be up to three times longer than normal, with the busiest days being Thursday and Friday (May 24-25) as commuters mix with holiday travelers.
Higher gas prices are not expected to deter travelers. The 88 percent of travelers choosing to drive will pay the most expensive Memorial Day gas prices since 2014.
"The highest gas prices since 2014 won't keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend," said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. "A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway."
2018 Memorial Day by the numbers:
- Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers - 36.6 million - will hit the road this Memorial Day, 4.7 percent more than last year.
- Planes: 3.1 million people will travel by air, a 6.8 percent increase and the fifth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
- Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.4 percent to 1.8 million passengers.
While road trippers will pay higher prices at the gas pump this year, travelers can expect some relief in their wallets when paying for airfare, car rentals and most mid-range hotels. According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, airfares are 7 percent lower than last Memorial Day, landing at an average price of $168 for a round-trip flight along the top 40 domestic routes.
What is this year's top Memorial Day travel destination?
Orlando again tops this year's list of the most-visited Memorial Day destinations in the U.S., based on AAA advance travel bookings.
- Seattle, Washington
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Anaheim, California
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Denver, Colorado
- New York, New York
For those planning to kick off their summers with an overseas vacation, Europe is a major draw this year. Rome, Dublin and London are the most popular international travel destinations for Memorial Day weekend.