Traveling For Memorial Day Weekend? You're Not Alone

Gas prices, travel statistics and a case of cabin fever — AAA talks all about it and what it means for Connecticut travelers.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
First up, the good news — comparatively speaking, of course. 

Connecticut motorists are paying an average of $3.92 per gallon for regular gasoline, according to AAA. That's not as high as the springtime peak of $3.95 — that's the good news. 

But you should probably know that it's 14 cents more than it was last year. Sigh.

But hey, check this out — AAA notes Connecticut's gas price average is the fourth most expensive in the country, behind Hawaii, California and Alaska. 

Alright, so maybe that doesn't make us feel that much better about gas prices. But what's interesting is that that's not stopping us from hitting the road — AAA projects an increase in Memorial Day weekend travels and likens it to a tough winter and good old cabin fever. 

“After a punishing winter and now that warmer weather has arrived, many people are eager to hit the road for a getaway,” said AAA Public Affairs Manager Aaron Kupec.  “Popular Memorial Day weekend destinations among Connecticut residents include state parks and beaches, the Rhode Island shore, and northern New England.”

AAA projects 1.65 million people from Connecticut and the five other New England states will journey at least 50 miles from home for Memorial Day weekend, a 3.2 percent increase from 2013—and the highest travel volume since 2005.

Highlights from AAA’s 2014 Memorial Day Travel Forecast:

Road Trips Rule.  Nearly 1.5 million New Englanders (90 percent of holiday travelers) plan to drive to their destination—a 3.1 percent increase over last year.

Air Travel Experiences Lift.  Some 128,000 New Englanders are expected to fly for the holiday weekend—a 2.5 percent increase from 2013.  The average round-trip domestic airfare is up six percent from one year ago.

Spike in ‘Other’ Transportation Modes.  Travel by other modes of transportation including cruise, train and bus will see the largest increase, up ten percent regionally (total 29,000 New England travelers) from last year.

Slightly Higher Hotel, Rental Car Prices.  Travelers will encounter slightly higher prices, with mid-range hotels up two percent and car rentals costing one percent more.

Gas Prices Remain Near Springtime Peak
Recapping from above, Connecticut motorists are paying an average of $3.92 per gallon for regular gasoline, which is near the springtime peak of $3.95 and 14 cents more than one year ago.

AAA expects gasoline prices to remain steady or slowly drop over the coming weeks due to rising supplies, though unexpected developments such as refinery problems or international events could result in higher costs.  With many plans already made and budgets set, it is unlikely that gas prices will have a significant effect on Memorial Day travel plans.  AAA’s Gas Watcher’s Guide, which contains tips for conserving fuel, saving money and protecting the environment is available at local AAA offices.

The National Picture
AAA projects 36.1 million Americans will travel for Memorial Day weekend, a 1.5 percent increase from 2013.  Nationally, auto travel is expected to increase 1.2 percent, while air travel is expected to climb 2.4 percent and travel by other modes is projected to rise 6.5 percent.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight.  The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 22 to Monday, May 26.  AAA has been reporting holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete forecast can be found here.

Want to stay up-to-date with AAA info? Visit the AAA Public Affairs Blog and click "get email updates." 
Catherine & Dennis May 22, 2014 at 08:25 PM
Be sure to tell the burglars you won't be home!


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