NEW JERSEY - More than 38 million Americans plan to kick off summer with a trip; the highest travel volume since 2005. With the unofficial start of summer happening, many New Jerseyans are ready for warmer weather and a Memorial Day getaway.

AAA Travel predicts that more than 960,000 New Jersey residents will travel for the first “summer” holiday, a 1.7 percent increase over the 944,000 that traveled last year, and the most since 2006, when 965,000 N.J. residents headed out of town.

Nationally, AAA estimates that more than 38 million will travel this year, a 1.9 percent increase over last year and the second-highest travel volume this decade. Spurred by the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, about 700,000 more people will travel compared to 2015.

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TRAVEL BY THE NUMBERS

Automobile

• New Jersey – 871,644 (90.8% of travelers), a 2% increase from last year
• Nationally – 33.851 million (89% of travelers), a 2.1% increase from 2015

Air

• New Jersey – 60,006 (6.3% of travelers), an increase of 0.7% from 2015.
• Nationally – 2.58 million (6.8% of travelers), an increase of 1.6% from last year.

Train, Bus, Watercraft or Other Mode

• New Jersey – 28,446 (2.9% of travelers), a 5.5% decrease from 2015.
• Nationally – 1.601 million (4.2% of travelers), a decrease of 2.3% from last year.

Low gas prices driving increase in auto travel this Memorial Day

While gas prices are at their highest point of 2016 they are significantly down from previous years. As a result, nearly 34 million holiday travelers nationwide will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year. The national average price for a gallon of gas today is $2.30, 44 cents less than last year. In NJ, the average price for a gallon of gas is $2.14, 40 cents lower than last year.

Memorial Day gas prices, average per gallon, in New Jersey since 2014

2016: $2.15 (as of May 25, 2016)
2015: $2.53
2014: $3.49

Tips for drivers

  • AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip.
  • Have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop
  • Call (800) AAA-HELP (800-222-4357) to request roadside assistance.

Memorial Day travel trends

Many Memorial Day travelers will head to warm weather destinations and historic American cities. The top destinations this Memorial Day weekend include: Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Washington, D.C., New York, Miami,San Francisco, Boston, LA and South Padre Island, Texas. AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight.