Travel to jump nearly 5 percent this Memorial Day weekend
If you are planning to hit the road this holiday weekend, pack your patience. You certainly will not be alone.
About 959,000 New Jersey residents will travel 50 miles or more this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, which is up 4.6 percent compared to the 917,190 who traveled in 2014.
"The majority of New Jersey residents plan to travel by automobile, up 5.1 percent from the 823,000 who drove to their holiday destination last year," said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "AAA is projecting that 90 percent of holiday travelers will take to New Jersey's roadways during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, so motorists need to pack their patience along with the sunscreen as they set out for the Jersey Shore."
According to Noble, more people are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day than in the past decade "as confident consumers come out of hibernation ready to explore national parks, beach destinations and America's great cities," Noble said.
She added that many New Jerseyans are more than ready to "trade in their snow boots for flip-flops" especially after the cold, rough winter the region just experienced.
The following is a breakdown of how people in the Garden State and the nation will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend:
- New Jersey - 864,910 (90 percent of all travelers), up 5.1 percent compared to the 823,055 who drove in 2014.
- Nationally - 33 million (89 percent of all travelers), a 5.3 percent increase from the 31.3 million who drove last year.
- New Jersey - 62,455 (6.5 percent of all travelers), up 2.2 percent from 61,133 last year.
- Nationally - 2.6 million (7 percent of all travelers), an increase of 2.4 percent from Memorial Day Weekend 2014.
Train, Bus, Watercraft or Multi-Modal Travel
- New Jersey - 31,741 (3.3 percent of all travelers), down 3.8 percent from 2014.
- Nationally - About 1.6 million (4.2 percent of all travelers), down of 3.6 percent from the 2014 holiday weekend.
Travelers will also benefit from lower gas prices compared to recent years. The average price per gallon in New Jersey is $2.53, which is almost $1 less per gallon than last year. Most travelers in the country will pay the cheapest gas prices this holiday weekend than in at least five years. Nationally, AAA projects the number of travelers to increase 4.7 percent compared to 2014.
"We are seeing a decrease of 3.8 percent in those using other modes of transportation to get to their destination, with a majority of travelers going by car. We believe that increase can be directly attributed to the lower gas prices," Noble said.
AAA Mid-Atlantic also estimates it will come to the rescue of more than 31,000 stranded motorists during the holiday weekend, with more than 8,500 expected in New Jersey.