Memorial Day Travel Forecast
AAA expects Americans to take the most Memorial Day road trips since 2005
Summer doesn’t technically begin until June 20, but Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching, and that’s almost as good. The federal holiday marks the start of summer vacation and road trip season for millions of Americans, and AAA Travel is predicting—thanks to continued modest economic growth and relatively low gas prices—that this year’s Memorial Day will be the busiest since 2005. That’s because they’re forecasting that more than 39 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more between May 25 and 29.

AAA's forecast by the numbers

  •  Travelers by automobile:

    34.6 million
  • Travelers by air:

    2.9 million
  • Travelers by train or other:

    1.7 million

  • National average gas price for regular as of May 16:

  • Projected increase in travelers in 2017 vs. 2016:

    +1 million
  • Years that travel volume will have increased:

    3 in a row

The factors that affect the forecast

  • Economy still going strong

    Overall economic growth has been strong, with the unemployment rate approaching historic lows.
  • Consumers feel optimistic

    Household net worth has gone up sharply, and consumer sentiment is near a 13-year high.
  • Gas prices inch up

    The national average for a gallon of regular is around $2.33, which is 7 cents more than last year.

What it means for you

Road tripping in the family car is a Memorial Day classic: AAA predicts 34.6 million auto travelers will account for 88 percent of long-distance Memorial Day trips.

With so many cars on the road, it’s no surprise that the Memorial Day weekend is a busy time for AAA’s Roadside Assistance. AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Memorial Day. Want to avoid becoming one of them? Here’s what you can do:

  • Get your battery checked

    If your battery is more than three years old, don’t risk getting stranded. One easy way to have it tested is with AAA Battery Service, which will come directly to you. Learn more about AAA Battery Service.
  • Check your tire pressure

    Underinflated or unevenly worn tires can lead to sudden blowouts, especially in hot weather. Simply monitoring tire pressure can go a long way toward preventing such interruptions.
  • Bring a spare key

    Despite the wide adoption of wireless “smart” keys, AAA hasn't seen a significant reduction in lockout calls. Having a backup key can’t prevent a lockout, but can make it much easier to resolve.

  • Get a checkup

    Dead batteries and flat tires are most common, but AAA tows lots of vehicles with unforeseen engine, transmission, and brake issues.  Not sure where to go? Consider a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Pack an emergency kit

    Every vehicle should have a kit with a phone charger, flashlight, first-aid kit, tire pressure gauge, adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables, emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, and snacks.
  • Get the Auto Club App

    Whether you’re looking to map a route, find low gas prices, request Roadside Assistance, or find an Approved Auto Repair facility, the Auto Club App makes it simple. Learn more about the Auto Club App.

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