AAA: Cheaper Gas to Spur More Road Trips

AAA projects 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, an increase of 1.2 percent – or 500,000 travelers – from the 34.3 million people who did so last year.
A survey of Americans who plan to travel found that 53 percent said gasoline prices would not affect their Memorial Day holiday travel plans.
Of the remaining 47 percent of travelers who said gas prices would impact their travel plans, nine percent are planning to take a shorter trip, four percent will travel by an alternate mode of transportation and 34 percent will economize in other areas.
Gas prices have declined in recent weeks: the current national average for  regular gasoline is $3.73 per gallon, down from $3.91 a month ago.
A year go, the price for regular was higher, at $3.96 a gallon
“American consumers faced a new challenge this year as steadily increasing gas prices throughout the spring significantly squeezed many household budgets,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “Americans will still travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend but, many will compensate for reduced travel budgets by staying closer to home and cutting entertainment dollars.”
Those surveyed who said they intend to economize in other areas plan to reduce spending on entertainment (65 percent), stay at a lower priced hotel (34 percent), stay with friends and relatives instead of reserving a hotel room (31 percent) or stay in a hotel that includes value-added amenities like free breakfast and internet (27 percent).
AAA defines the Memorial Day holiday travel period starts Thursday, May 24, through Monday, May 28.

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