Boise, ID. – This year’s Memorial Day weekend expects to see more than 41.5 million Americans making a journey to see friends and family, and nearly 220,000 Idahoans will be among them, according to a new report by AAA. That’s nearly two million more travelers than last year.
“The numbers have been steadily climbing over the last few years, but now they’re rocketing up to where we were in 2005,” says Matthew Conde, public affairs director for AAA Idaho. “The 4.8 percent increase in this year’s Memorial Day travel is nearly double the growth we saw in 2017.”
“It’s a familiar tune that we’ve heard for the past few years,” Conde said. “Consumer confidence is high and unemployment is low, so more travelers have disposable income. People are pretty optimistic about the economy right now, and their travel plans prove it.”
Overall, travel for the Memorial Day weekend has increased by 11 million people since 2009’s Great Recession.
Road trips are still the most popular method of travel for Memorial Day. Nationally, 88 percent of all travelers will drive to their holiday destinations. In the Pacific Region, 84 percent will travel by car. Click here for the news release on AAA’s Memorial Day travel projections.
Gas prices will play a factor into weekend travel, with drivers now paying the highest pump prices leading up to Memorial Day since 2014. For the week, the national average for regular jumps a nickel to $2.93 a gallon, its highest price since November 2014.
“Pump prices continue to climb. Based on current data, families will spend $200 more to fill up this summer over last,” said Conde. “With gas inventories in the Rockies region a million barrels below last year, there is a strong possibility that higher gas prices will remain in our immediate future.”