AAA-Mid Atlantic estimates that 400,000 residents of the five county area will be traveling this Memorial Day Weekend, despite gas prices peaking near $4 a gallon. The agency defines traveling as journeys of 50 miles of greater.
Of that figure, 88 percent plan to drive to their destination, roughly the same number as last year, says AAA.
“Despite near-record-high gas prices this spring, Philadelphia area residents are ready to travel to welcome the summer season this Memorial Day holiday weekend,” said Jenny M. Robinson, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “While the economy continues to improve slightly, consumers have felt the pain at the pump in recent months, yet many will still travel. Local Memorial Day travel projections are up slightly over last year, but each household’s spending may vary depending on their economic circumstances.”
About 1 in 10 of the area's four million people will be traveling, although only .7 percent will be by air, a 6.2 percent drop from 2011.
Air travel is also being hit nationwide, with a 5.5 percent drop despite an overall 1.2 percent increase in the number of Americans traveling.
More fun facts:
- 88% - the number of travelers who will go by car (nationally)
- 7% - the number of travelers who will go by air (nationally)
- 5% - the number of travelers who will go by other modes - trains, buses, boats (nationally)
- $3.73 – Philadelphia area gas average today
- $3.89 – Philadelphia area gas average Memorial Day weekend a year ago
- $0.16 – the difference between the price of gas today and last Memorial Day weekend
- 713 miles – the average roundtrip for Middle Atlantic region travelers (including PA)
- 642 miles – the average roundtrip (nationally) – 150 miles less than 2011 nationally
- $839 – the average expected trip expenditures for Middle Atlantic region travelers
- 19% - the percentage of travel parties of just two adults from the Middle Atlantic region
- 60% - the percentage of travel parties of families traveling from the Middle Atlantic region
- 55% - of Middle Atlantic region travelers plan to visit family and friends this holiday weekend
- 39% - of Middle Atlantic region travelers plan to go to the beach/waterfront this holiday weekend
- 7,446 – “Emergency Roadside Service” calls expected in our PA territory for the long holiday weekend (May 24-28), with the biggest spike in call volume on Tuesday after Memorial Day.
- $185 – the average rate for a 3-Diamond hotel in Philadelphia. Up 17% from last year.
- $100 – the average rate for a 2-Diamond hotel in Philadelphia. Down 3% from last year.
- $303 – the average airfare Philadelphia to Miami. Up 35% from last year.
- $214 – the average airfare Philadelphia to Seattle. Down 37% from last year.
- $33 – the average rental car daily rate in Philadelphia. Up 20% from last year.
In Pennsylvania, motorists also can check current highway and construction conditions by calling 511 or visiting www.511pa.com. Construction work on interstate highways is normally suspended during Memorial Day weekend.