31.8 million Americans, or roughly one out of every ten people in the country, will travel 50 miles or more by car for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.
This represents the highest number of Memorial Day car travelers in almost 10 years, according to auto club AAA.
AAA spokesman Michael Green said in a press release that national gas prices will remain at around the same level as last year, although California drivers will pay some of the highest prices for gas in the country at over $4 a gallon.
“Memorial Day is considered the start of the summer driving season, and we expect to see a significant uptick in road travel between now and Labor Day,” Green said. “Gas prices nationally averaged about $3.58 per gallon between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2013, and we expect this summer’s average to be about the same or slightly less than a year ago.”
However, Green added, “in California, nearly everyone is paying more than $4 a gallon.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, about 3.5 million Californians will travel by car on Memorial Day. 700,000 will use other methods of transportation like airplanes, trains, and boats.
“Californians are hitting the roads and planning their getaways for the official summer travel kick-off,” said Pablo O’Brien, vice president of travel products for AAA Northern California in the report. He added that the slight increase in car travelers for the holiday is most likely due to the “economic upturn,” which has “boosted consumer confidence and spending.”