Do you have plans to travel this Memorial Day weekend? If so, you'll have some company. AAA estimates about 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend. That's up by 1.2 percent from last year. Our Brad Vivacqua reports.
NEW YORK -- AAA looks at a number of factors, but you'd have to consider gas prices as one of the main factors. A few months ago when prices were going up, a recent AAA survey of intended travelers found that 53 percent said they would not change their Memorial Day weekend plans due to rising prices.
If you've been watching those prices, you've noticed they've gone down since last month.
According to AAA today, in Albany and Syracuse drivers are paying an average of $3.83 per gallon. Drivers in Binghamton are paying $3.84. In Utica, gas is currently at $3.87 and Rochester is at $3.88. And in Buffalo, gas is averaging $3.94 per gallon this morning.
AAA projects more than 30 million people plan to drive to their Memorial Day weekend destinations, which is up by about 1.2 percent. Depending where you are in New York State, gas is between 10 and 30 cents cheaper than it was one year ago.
Officials say in addition to the recent drop in gas prices, the timing of the decrease will also have an impact.
"The decrease in gas prices comes at a great time because we actually peaked in April. Last year we peaked in May and it was much closer to the actual onset of holiday travel. So, this year the fact that we're already seeing relief, that might be contributing to people's plans to actually drive," said Diana Dibble, AAA Public Affairs Manager.
Despite that projected increase of travelers on the road, AAA projects a decrease in air travelers this holiday weekend by more than five percent. Officials say that can be attributed to higher airfare prices a few months ago, although they've more recently come down.
Memorial Day weekend is considered one of the top five travel periods of the year. Regardless of where you're heading, you can check out gas prices across the country and get travel tips by visiting AAA's fuel gauge website at fuelgaugereport.aaa.com.