AAA Mid-Atlantic says it’s the highest number since 2001.
Towson, Md (KM). The Memorial Day weekend is coming, and it could be a little crowded if you’re heading out to your favorite vacation spot. AAA Mid-Atlantic says nearly 890,000 Marylanders are projected to head out of town during the weekend, which is a 4.7% increase over last year, and the highest number since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2001.
“89% of all the Maryland travelers will hit the road. We’re looking at roughly 793,000,:” says AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Christine Delise.
She says travel by car comes in a year where gasoline prices have shot up. “We’re looking at the highest gas prices since 2014, when a gallon of gas was averaging $3.66 in Maryland for Memorial Day,” says Delise. “We’re much lower than it was in 2014. In Maryland. We’re looking at $2.94 a gallon, still around 60-cents a gallon higher than last year.”
But, she says many drivers are coping. “It’s only costing $10.00 more to fill up the tank versus last year. So travelers try to economize elsewhere, maybe eat at cheaper restaurants so they can pay for the fill up,” says Delise
Despite the increase in gasoline prices, Delise says Marylanders who are planning a vacation trip this Memorial Day Weekend feel more confident in the economy. “People are willing to spend money to get away for the holiday compared to many years ago,” she says.
If you will be driving to your destination, AAA says it’s important to plan ahead. “Make sure your car is road ready. No one wants to spend part of their holiday stranded on the road,” says Delilse. That includes checking the tire pressure and your engine fluids, such as the oil and wiper fluids. “We always urge motorists to have an emergency kit on hand with jumper cables, a fully charged cell phone”
Because of lower air fares, AAA says 71,600 Maryland residents are traveling by air. That’s a 7.4% increase over last year. The auto club says this is the first time that air travel figures have reached past the 70,00 mark since 2001.
Delise says give yourself plenty of time get to the airport. Arrive two hours before your plane takes off if you’re traveling domestically; three hours early if you’re traveling abroad. She also says check with the Transportation Security Administration’s website for what you can’t bring on board a plane.
By Kevin McManus