It’s the highest since 2005.
Towson, Md (KM) The roads, rails and airways could be little crowded this coming weekend. AAA Mid-Atlantic says 833,900 Marylanders will be traveling during the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday period. The auto club says that’s a 3.2% increase over 2016, and it’s the third consecutive year the travel numbers have exceeded 800,000.
AAA spokesman Christine Delise says a lot of Marylanders have confidence in the economy. “While we recognized that there’s still people unemployed, and maybe personal incomes aren’t as high, but overall we are looking at increases in personal income, falling unemployment rate, and that has led to strong growth in consumer spending,” she says.
A lot of people are heading to well known vacation destinations such as Ocean City and Deep Creek Lake. “But because there are still students in school, what we see is families tend to maybe stay a little bit closer to home, and save those long trips and those farther destinations for summer time, July 4th, when the kids are out of school,” says Delise.
AAA also says 88% of Marylanders–or 743,900–are traveling by car, even though the price of gasoline has gone up since last year. Delise says gas prices went up in the spring as refineries made the switch to the summer blend gasoline. But then the cost of filling up went down. Now, she says prices are “inching up” as we enter the Memorial Day Weekend. “But prices are still lower than last month, and only pennies higher than last year at this time,” says Delise.
AAA says as of Monday, May 22nd, the average price at the pump in Maryland is $2.33 per gallon.
For those heading out by car, Delise says it’s best to get an early start, or leave later. “We recommend that motorists try to leave as early as possible in the morning. Friday, try to avoid that PM rush hour traffic. Try to get on the roads later in the evening, or much earlier in the day,” she says.
AAA says 63,300 Marylanders will be traveling by air this holiday weekend, while 24,700 will be leaving by other modes of transportation, such as trains, buses or watercraft.
By Kevin McManus