Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

AAA predicts a surge in travel

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
Published:
NEW YORK — A strong case of cabin fever and a little more money to spend should inspire a greater number of Americans to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend.
That's the forecast from auto club AAA, which on Friday said it expects a total of 36.1 million people to travel 50 miles or more. If that estimate holds true, it would be the largest amount of people traveling during the holiday weekend since 2005.
Most will drive to their vacation spots, but more people are expected to fly or take a cruise or train this year compared with a year ago, AAA said.
The improving job market and a rise in disposable income are fueling the increase in holiday travel plans, AAA found in its annual survey. The desire to get out of the house after a brutally cold winter is another strong incentive to hit the road.
“Thoughts of historic cold are still fresh in the minds of Americans in many parts of the country,” said AAA's Chief Operating Officer Marshall Doney. “The winter blues appear to have given Americans the travel bug.”
Of the total travelers, 31.8 million are expected to drive, up 1.3 percent from 31.4 million last year. Gas prices are less of a concern for drivers, since they are expected to be lower than last year's average of $3.63, thanks to rising supplies, AAA said.
Airports will be busier, with 2.6 million people expected to fly this year, up 2.4 percent from last year. And 1.7 million people will take a cruise, train or bus, a 6.5 percent jump from a year ago.
Travelers can expect to pay more for their getaways. Hotel rooms are likely to cost $3 more a night from last year, at an average of $169 per night, AAA said. The average cost of a round-trip plane ticket is $227, up from $215 a year ago. Car rentals will average $44 a day during the weekend, up 1 percent from a year ago. A 3.4 percent increase in personal income from last year should help cover those additional costs, the auto club said.
The AAA forecast represents an 18 percent increase in travelers from 2009, the low point of the recession, when only 30.5 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day. The number has been increasing steadily since 2011. The busiest travel weekend was in 2005, when 44 million people went away.
Last year, AAA said more people traveled during the Memorial Day weekend than it projected. It had expected total travel to fall nearly 1 percent from the year before to 34.8 million. But 35.5 million Americans actually traveled last year, according to a survey conducted following the holiday weekend.
For its forecast, AAA works with research company IHS Global, which uses economic data to come up with its projections. A separate company, D.K. Shifflet & Associates surveys more than 50,000 households after the trips have been taken.
Story tags » Travel

Related

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus