AAA: Nearly 40 million people expected to travel at least 50 miles this weekend

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2010, file photo, traffic is backed up on the New York State Thruway in Harriman, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — AAA expects 39.3 million people to travel at least 50 miles from home on Memorial Day weekend.

The holiday travel period is defined as Thursday through Monday, AAA says.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” Carol DiOrio, vice president of travel at AAA Western and Central New York, said. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”

2017 is expected to be the third consecutive year of growth in travel for the Memorial Day weekend. AAA thinks 2.7 percent more travelers will hit the road.

Here are some other AAA travel statistics for Memorial Day weekend:

  • 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.
  • 2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent over last year.
  • 1.75 million travelers, an increase 2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.
  • Airfares, car rental rates and mid-range hotels are all trending higher than last Memorial Day.
  • Memorial Day gas prices are expected to be the highest since 2015.

Based on AAA travel bookings, the top destinations for Memorial Day weekend travel are the following places:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Rome, Italy
  3. London, England
  4. Dublin, Ireland
  5. Vancouver, Canada
  6. Seattle, Washington
  7. Las Vegas, Nevada
  8. New York, New York
  9. Paris, France
  10. Honolulu, Hawaii

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