CHARLOTTE, N.C. – AAA Carolinas projects an estimated 1,051,000 North Carolina and 485,400 South Carolina motorists will travel this Memorial Day weekend, the highest Memorial Day travel volume on record. Spurred by the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, about 31,605 more Carolinians will travel compared to last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30.
“Carolinians are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel thanks to the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in a decade,” said Dave Parsons, AAA Carolinas President and CEO, “We urge drivers to stay safe on the roadways this weekend and to always remember to disconnect and drive.”
Nearly 1,540,000 Carolinians will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year as a result of lower gas prices. Top driving destinations include Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Denver, CO, Orlando, FL and Savannah, GA.
Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent over last year, with 84,124 North Carolinians and 33,629 South Carolinians taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation will fall 2.3 percent, with 33,804 North Carolina and 30,874 South Carolina vacationers traveling by cruises, trains and buses. Top leisure travel destinations include Alaska, Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas, Italy and Western Caribbean.
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 26 percent cheaper this Memorial Day, with an average roundtrip ticket costing $165. Hotel costs are in line with last Memorial Day. AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels will average $183, while a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel will average $151 nightly. Daily car rental rates will average $62, three percent less than last year.
The average price for a gallon of gasoline today is $2.21 in North Carolina, 37 cents less than last year and $2.05 in South Carolina, 37 cents less than last year. According to a recent AAA survey, 55 percent of Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip this year due to lower gas prices.