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Memorial Day weekend travel expected to surpass last year despite record high gas prices

Travel expected to rise for memorial day despite high gas prices.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 9:26 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Despite higher prices from gas to airfare to hotels, Memorial Day weekend travel is expected to surpass last year.

AAA is projecting 2.2 million Floridians to take a trip that’s 50 miles or more, travel to be up about 8% from last year, and 90% of travelers will hit the road this holiday weekend.

Today, the national average for a gallon of gas is $4.58, but those prices don’t seem to be stopping road trippers.

Dwayne Daley stopped in Tallahassee for gas on his journey from Jacksonville to New Orleans. Daley said he decided on that trip to avoid crowds at beaches this weekend.

“We’ll do a little more drive-thru eating than we usually do, but for us, we have been saving up for this and we knew the holiday was coming and gas prices are always high, so we knew we were going to take a hit”, said Daley.

AAA said drivers can expect busy highways and advises leaving before noon to avoid congestion on peak travel days because there’s a lot of pent-up demand coming out of the pandemic.

“People want to get out and travel again and we’re seeing in many cases, higher prices are not stopping them. Consumer spending remains extremely high right now”, AAA Spokesperson Mark Jenkins said.

3 million Americans are expected to fly this weekend. In Florida, air travel volumes are forecasted to rise by 28%.

The Tallahassee International Airport said staff there is prepared for pre-pandemic traffic levels.

“Staffing is looking good on the airport side, the airlines, and support partners as well. Everyone’s geared up and ready for having our numbers be very similar to what we saw in 2019″, Deputy Director of Aviation at TLH, Jim Durwin said.

Air travelers can expect to pay more as well. Airfares are up about 6% from last year. AAA is projecting that all travel modes will rebound from the pandemic this weekend. The peak travel days are Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday.

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