AAA: More than 1.2M in MI to travel for Memorial Day

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AAA: More than 1.2M in MI to travel for Memorial Day

The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.

More people will be renting cars, too, as bookings increased 19 percent from last Memorial Day, peaking on Friday, May 26.

That is one million more travelers than in 2016 taking to the roads, skies, rails and water creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.

"People have more consumer confidence right now, wages are rising, gas prices have declined slightly and consumer spending is up a bit", Hiltz said.

Filomena Andre, the Auto Club's vice president for travel, said the increase in air travelers suggests vacationers are planning to take more time off work and travel farther from home. However, AAA says more than 90 percent of travelers will still drive.

The unofficial start of summer has many Americans eyeing a getaway. The figure signals a 5.5 percent increase over 2016.

They are likely to see gas prices slightly higher than a year ago but much lower than in 2015.

By the numbers, AAA provides travelers a forecast for Memorial Day.

While road trips continue to reign supreme for Memorial Day, the release said more Americans will fly, ride the train or bus, or take a cruise vacation compared to past year. The average rate at a AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel is $215 this holiday weekend, up 18 percent over a year ago.

AAA is expecting to rescue more than 330,000 drivers over the weekend, thanks to lockouts, flat tires and battery issues, the news release said.

The auto club says Wednesday that the projection is a 2.5 percent increase over the roughly 1.1 million people from the state who traveled previous year for the holiday.

Both airfares and hotel costs have increased this year, according to AAA's Leisure Travel Index. Travelers can check gas prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.

Meanwhile, almost 3 million Americans will fly to their destination for Memorial Day. "So far in 2017, travel bookings with AAA in Wisconsin are up 5.4 percent compared to the same period a year ago". The average price for the four years ending in 2014 was more than $3 per gallon. The national average price for a gallon of gas for Tuesday, May 16 is $2.34, 12 cents more than past year.

The busy Memorial Day weekend also offers airlines a chance to make good on their newly minted promises to improve customer service after a spate of nightmare incidents ranging from a bloodied passenger being dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight to punches being thrown at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after cancellations of Spirit Airlines flights.

Topping the most popular destinations is Orlando, Florida, followed by the European cities of Rome, London, and Dublin, and Vancouver, Canada rounding out the top five.

AAA is warning residents that with busy roads, motorists should be prepared for delays and roadside hazards.

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