AAA Carolinas predict Memorial Day travel to increase - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

AAA Carolinas predict Memorial Day travel to increase

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - AAA Carolinas is predicting Memorial Day highway travel to increase 5% over the number of actual travelers last year.

More than 750,000 NC motorists are expected to hit the road Friday while 60,000 Carolina travelers are expected to fly this weekend.

"The desire to get away for the first major holiday of the summer season is overcoming the economic downturn and recent gas price spikes and bodes well for the ongoing recovery of the hospitality industry," said Dave Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas in a statement.

Although the economy is struggling, the average gas price is still roughly $1.50 less than a year ago.

In addition to lower gas prices, three diamond hotel rates are down 12% from last year and car rental rates are down 3%.

"Our vacation services department has seen consumers traveling smarter this year," said Parsons in a statement.  "Travelers are watching their budgets, looking for promotions, choosing accommodations that offer free breakfast or ones with kitchen facilities to cut down dining expenses."

Motorists taking a trip can budget estimated gas costs for their personal vehicles by going to www.fuelcostcalculator.com. By entering their origin, destination, make and model of their vehicle, motorists can get an estimated gasoline cost for a trip.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AAA Carolinas contributed to this report.

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