The Memorial Day holiday weekend begins Friday and ends Monday, May 29 and more people will travel this year, continuing a trend seen over the last several years, according to AAA.
Some of those travelers will be making their way to Mount Magazine State Park. According to Park Superintendent Becky Bariola, the park, campsites and lodge will be busy this weekend.
“Our campsites are booked and our cabins are booked,” Bariola said Monday. “The lodge will be completely booked before the end of the week.”
The park has 18 campsites, 13 cabins and 60 rooms in the lodge.
Bariola also said the park is seeing increased visitation this year.
“We’re expecting more visitors this summer than last year,” she said. “Each month, our visitation numbers have been better than last year.
AAA projects that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.
“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”
The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.
2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than last year. 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year. 2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent over last year. 1.75 million travelers, an increase 2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses. Drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015.
While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015, the vast majority of holiday travelers (88.1 percent) are still planning to hit the road. Automobile travel will grow by 2.4 percent this Memorial Day, with 34.6 million Americans planning a holiday road trip. The national average price for a gallon of gas is $2.34, 11 cents more than last year.
More Americans are planning to rent cars for their holiday road trips this year. AAA’s car rental bookings are 19 percent higher than last Memorial Day. According to Hertz, the busiest day for car rental pick-ups is expected to be Friday, May 26, based on last year’s data.