Not even gas prices 50 cents higher than last year are going to prevent a near-record number of Americans from getting a jump on summer travel starting this Memorial Day weekend.
Tamra Johnson of AAA says, “We are projecting that 41 million Americans will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend. That is five percent higher than we saw last year.”
A strong economy and higher consumer confidence is, in fact, expected to drive more Americans to take more vacations all summer but not necessarily long vacations.
Travel expert Jeanenne Tornatore adds, “Three to five day trips versus the seven to 14 day trips that maybe used to be very popular.”
Tornatore says travel experiences are what many consumers want this summer, with music festivals and concerts topping the list starting this weekend. “Over Memorial Day weekend, you have Pink in Las Vegas, Justin Timberlake in Dallas, U2 in Atlanta and Taylor Swift in Denver”
However, she says beach destinations will remain the most popular for summer travelers. As for flying, TSA’s expectation of record air travel between Memorial and Labor Day has it adding a thousand new security officers before peak summer travel begins.