More Motorists to Take Memorial Day Trips as Fuel Prices Ease

Gasoline pricesThe number of Americans who will travel on leisure during the Memorial Day weekend will increase 5.4 percent from last year, representing about 32.1 million travelers, according to the American Automobile Association.
Similarly, those opting to take a trip by automobile will see an increase of 5.8 percent – representing 87 percent of the overall travelers – or 28 million motorists.
Those on the road will more than likely avoid $3.00 a gallon in fuel costs on average as prices at the pumps have either held steady, or slightly declined in recent weeks.
Crude oil futures have lost a fifth of their value since May 3, when they reached a 19-month peak of $87.15.  The front-month contract expiring today was in the $70-$71 a barrel range.
Moreover, the AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report today reports the average price of regular gasoline nationwide at $2.840, down from $2.890 a week ago and down from $2.859 a month ago.
An economy somewhat improved from a year ago has fueled jumps in travel bookings, AAA said.
“AAA travel agents are reporting double-digit increases in the percentage of travelers making advanced bookings for tours and cruises, hotel bookings via are increasing and AAA’s many travel industry partners have reported improved business conditions this spring,” said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services.
However, median spending is estimated to be $809 this Memorial Day, a significant reduction from one year ago, when Americans reported average spending plans of $1,052.
The average distance traveled by Americans this Memorial Day weekend is forecast to be forecast at 626 miles, very close to the 620 mile average in 2009, AAA reported.

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