More than 39 million Americans plan to kick off summer with a trip; highest travel volume since 2005
Florham Park, NJ -- As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, many New Jerseyans are ready for a Memorial Day getaway. AAA Travel predicts that more than 975,000 Garden State residents will travel for the first “summer” holiday, a 2.5 percent increase over the 953,000 that traveled last year, and the most since 2005, when more than one million went out of town.
Nationally, AAA estimates that more than 39.3 million will travel this year, one million (2.7 percent) more than last year, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 – Monday, May 29.
“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth in the travel industry in 2017,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior VP, Travel and Publishing. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending. Many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel.”
Travel by the Numbers
• New Jersey – 880,956 (90.2% of travelers), a 2.4% increase from last year
• Nationally – 34.631 million (88.1% of travelers), a 2.4% increase from 2016
• New Jersey – 65,350 (6.7% of travelers), an increase of 4.6% from those who flew in 2016.
• Nationally – 2.906 million (7.4% of travelers), an increase of 5.5% from last Memorial Day.
Train, Bus, Watercraft or Other Mode
• New Jersey – 30,677 (3.1% of travelers), a 0.9% increase from Memorial Day 2016.
• Nationally – 1.754 million (4.5% of travelers), an increase of 2.9% from last year.
Travelers still hitting the road despite higher gas prices
While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015, the vast majority of holiday travelers (88.1 percent) are still planning to hit the road. Automobile travel will grow by 2.4 percent this Memorial Day, with 34.6 million Americans planning a holiday road trip. The national average price for a gallon of gas today is $2.37, eight cents more than in 2016. In New Jersey, the average price for a gallon of gas is $2.40, 26 cents lower than last year.
Memorial Day gas prices, average per gallon, in New Jersey since 2012
2017: $2.40 (as of May 24, 2017)
Tips for drivers
AAA expects to provide aid to more than 330,000 motorists during the Memorial Day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call (800) AAA-HELP (222-4357) to request roadside assistance.
AAA and Waze share perspectives on holiday travel
According to Waze, the free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are the busiest metro areas this Memorial Day weekend, based on last year’s accident and traffic jam data. For travelers visiting or driving through these cities, be aware of high traffic volumes on Thursday and Friday New York City sees an average 27 percent increase in accident alerts on these two days.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. Visit the AAA Newsroom to view the complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2017 Memorial Day Travel Forecast.