AAA: High gas prices to keep travelers closer to home Memorial Day weekend
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AAA suspects the recent influx in gasoline prices will decrease travel over Memorial Day weekend and those who do travel will stay closer to home.
The unofficial start to Summer Vacation starts this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday. While many tend to drive their way into the season AAA expects traveling to decrease slightly from last year.
AAA released its Memorial Day travel forecast. It expects 110,300 South Dakotans to travel over Memorial Day weekend. That's actually a 1 percent decrease from last year's Memorial Day. Nationwide, 34.8 million Americans are predicted to travel, which is down .9 percent from 2012.
"The overall domestic economic picture continues to improve. However, potential travelers faced new challenges this year as gas prices dramatically increased throughout the last couple of weeks squeezing many household budgets," Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota said in a news release. Buskohl also stated that many will compensate for higher travel costs by staying closer to home or cutting entertainment expenses."
AAA has been forecasting travel trends for more than two decades. The projections are derived through research conducted by IHS Global Insight. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as trips that include travel of 50 miles or more during the five-day period from Thursday, May 23 to Monday, May 27.
AAA also reports that car rental rates are the highest they've been in four years, with a weekend daily rate average of $43, which is 19 percent above last year.