CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 23, 2016) – AAA Carolinas projects an estimated 1,051,000 North Carolina and 485,400 South Carolina motorists will travel this Memorial Day weekend,the highest Memorial Day travel volume on record.Spurred by the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, about 31,605 more Carolinians will travel compared to last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30.
“Carolinians are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel thanks to the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in a decade,” said Dave Parsons, AAA Carolinas President and CEO, “We urge drivers to stay safe on the roadways this weekend and to always remember to disconnect and drive.”
Nearly 1,540,000 Carolinians will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year as a result of lower gas prices. Top driving destinations include Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Denver, CO, Orlando, FL and Savannah, GA.
Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent over last year, with 84,124 North Carolinians and 33,629 South Carolinians taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation will fall 2.3 percent, with 33,804 North Carolina and 30,874 South Carolina vacationers traveling by cruises, trains and buses. Top leisure travel destinations include Alaska, Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas, Italy and Western Caribbean.
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 26 percent cheaper this Memorial Day, with an average roundtrip ticket costing $165. Hotel costs are in line with last Memorial Day. AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels will average $183, while a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel will average $151 nightly. Daily car rental rates will average $62, three percent less than last year.
The average price for a gallon of gasoline today is $2.21in North Carolina, 37cents less than last year and $2.05in South Carolina, 37cents less than last year.According to a recent AAA survey, 55 percent of Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip this year due to lower gas prices.
AAA Carolinas expects to rescue more than 11,000 motorists during the Memorial Day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers, with seven of the 10 most deadly days occurring between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Last year, 12 North Carolina motorists and 8 South Carolina motorists died on the roads during the Memorial Day holiday.
For the latest on construction delays, go to the North Carolina Department of Transportation website, www.NCDOT.gov. Click on Travel & Maps and then on the Traveler Information Management System for up-to-date traffic information related to closed travel lanes, accidents or expected congestion due to sporting events, such as Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Coca-Cola 600 race this weekend.
South Carolina will suspend construction projects along interstates and high volume multi-lane primary routes throughout the holiday weekend.
AAA is partnering with Uber to give members $10 off a ride in Uptown Charlotte or Downtown Raleigh on Memorial Day as part of a Safe Ride program.
Before setting out for Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more atAAA.com/mobile.
With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants via TripTik Travel Planner. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2016 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast can be found here.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.9 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.?