Memorial Day travel will be more expensive than last year


Motorists can expect busy highways over Memorial Day weekend. (Getty)

This Memorial Day weekend is predicted to be one for the record books.

According to AAA, 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home between May 25 and the actual holiday on May 29. This will make it the busiest Memorial day for travel  in 12 years.

If you feel like you’ve heard this news before, you have. This is the third consecutive year of growth for Memorial Day travel, with one million more travelers hitting the road in 2017 compared to 2016.

Even though gas is more expensive than it was last year, AAA says that 88.1% of travelers (around 34.6 million) will drive to their getaways, an increase of 2.4% over 2016. While some experts predicted the price at the pump would spike before the holiday, gas prices actually declined slightly at the beginning of May.

“Healthy gasoline inventories coupled with moderate demand for gasoline are two factors converging to keep gas prices in check, likely until Memorial Day,” said Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst for

This year, AAA says that motorists can expect to pay an average of $2.34 at the pump, which is up 11 cents from this time last year. However, gas is already well above that level in many cities across the West Coast; drivers are paying $3.00 a gallon in Los Angeles.

With 2.9 million Americans expected to travel by plane, holidaymakers opting to fly will likely encounter long lines at US airports. Fliers can also expect to pay more than in previous years. According to AAA, airfare for 40 domestic routes is up 9% from 2016, with the average price of a roundtrip ticket hovering around $181. At this point, finding prices that low will be tough if you haven’t already booked your trip, but some low prices still remain. On May 17, the site Cheap-O-Air found fares from New York to Orlando for $176 and flights from Los Angeles to Seattle for $210.

When it comes to lodging, the average AAA three diamond-rated hotel will cost $215 a night, a 18% higher than last year. Rental cars will also cost more, up 7% from 2016.

Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. 

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