Hitting The Road Hits Wallets

Monday, May 30, 2011 - 7:02am

Holiday travel costs up sharply from last year

According to AAA nearly 35-million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, a slight uptick from last year, despite the high cost of gasoline.

Gas prices around the country are down slightly in recent days, but the national average of $3.81 a gallon entering this holiday weekend is still more than a dollar higher than a year ago.

Even so, AAA is forecasting only a tiny drop in the number of people hitting the highways compared to last year.

"I guess the bottom line is that pain at the pump will not keep us at home during the
holiday," said AAA president Bob Darbelnet.

The same goes for air travelers.

Despite higher jet fuel prices pushing summer air fares to their highest levels since 2008, AAA expects an 11.5 percent jump in the number of people taking to the skies.

"There's some great deals still out there for June and July, but overall, if you're paying full ticket price, you're paying anywhere from $30-60 more this year," notes FareCompare.com's Rick Seaney.

That's money that the people who talk up sun and sand are hopeful Americans are willing to spend.

"I do believe that this summer, we're really going to see a very strong summer travel season,
a summer travel season probably stronger than we've had in the last couple of years," says Visit Florida CEO Will Seccombe.

The travel-going public will determine if that prediction becomes reality.

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