Millions to travel for Memorial Day weekend

Traffic is expected to be heavy across the nation, with AAA projecting that 39.3 million people will head out for the holiday, an increase of 1 million compared to last year's Memorial Day projection. Locally, travelers should anticipate longer lines at the region's three airports - Reagan National, Dulles International and Baltimore-Washington International Marshall - where air travel is expected to be more than 6 percent higher this holiday weekend than previous year.

Memorial Day travel is expected to reach record levels with an estimated 700,000 Wisconsinites traveling more than 50 miles according to AAA.

"The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year", said AAA Kansas spokeswoman Jennifer Haugh.

"This year's significant growth in air travel is a testament to consumers' confidence to spend on travel, despite this year's higher airfares", Averella said.

The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday to Monday, and it is the fourth-busiest travel weekend in the Granite State.

Another 2.9 million travelers will catch a plane, even though airfares are 9 percent higher than a year ago, AAA officials said, adding that the average round-trip airline ticket will cost $181 this weekend.

Of those, travelers, 34.6 million - or 88.1 percent - will drive to their destination. Another 1.75 million people will take a cruise, or catch a train or bus to their destinations.

The influx could be risky: In fact, Memorial Day weekend is the most deadly time to drive, according to personal-finance website ValuePenguin, with an average of 312 fatal accidents a year between 2011 and 2015, followed by Labor Day Weekend (308 fatal accidents) and July 4th Weekend (307 fatal accidents).

Hotel costs for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel average $215, 18% more than past year; and.

Garfield VFW Post 2867 and Blue Star students places 1,800 flags on fallen veteran's graves on May 15, in honor of Memorial Day.

"We are suspending construction-related lane closures during this holiday weekend to reduce congestion and delays on our major highways".

The number of people projected to travel by automobile is up 3 percent in the Washington Metro area, partly due to the cost of gas. The national average price for a gallon of gas today is $2.34, 10 cents more than a year ago.

"Keeping motorists safe while they travel across North Carolina is our number one priority", Col. Glenn McNeill, commander of the State Highway Patrol, said.

Travelers will want to leave home as early as they can.

Drivers are also urged not to drive drowsy, distracted, drunk or drugged. "We were expecting to see higher gas prices all the way down the interstate".

He said a AAA Trip Check, which reviews all three areas discussed, is free for members and takes approximately 10 minutes at a local branch. However, beginning Saturday NJ Transit has said they would operate on a weekend schedule and PATH service is scheduled to be on a weekend schedule till Monday.

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