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Memorial Day Travel Up

An additional 1 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles away from home this Memorial Day weekend vs. last year, for a total of 39.3 million, according to a projection from AAA.

AAA said this marks the highest travel volume on the holiday weekend since 2005. Memorial Day weekend is May 25 through 29 this year.

While the vast majority of people — 34.6 million, a 2.4% increase over last year — will drive, the number projected to travel by air saw a 5.5% bump this year to a 2.9 million. Rental car bookings are 19% higher than last year. Other modes of transportation, like cruises, buses and trains, will see a 2.9% increase in travelers, to a total of 1.75 million.

Based on AAA travel bookings, the top destinations for the holiday weekend, in order, are Orlando, Rome, London, Dublin, Vancouver, Seattle, Las Vegas, New York, Paris and Honolulu.

Both airfares and hotel costs have increased this year, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index. The average fare for the top 40 domestic flight routes is $181 for a roundtrip ticket, 9% higher than last Memorial Day weekend, while a night at the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel is up 18%, at $215.

AAA’s information was based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. (Travel Weekly).

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