Although gas prices are rising, it will not keep travelers from their destination this holiday weekend. AAA is projecting an increase in travel over last year.
According to the travel company, 34.8 million Americans are predicted to travel this weekend through Monday 50 miles or more from home. This is 500,000 more travelers than 2011.
"Americans will still travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but many will compensate for reduced travel budgets by scaling back in other areas on their trips," Wally Smith, AAA of Western and Central New York vice president, said in a statement.
OBSERVER Photo by Matt Panebianco
AAA predicts travel will increase by 1.2 percent this holiday weekend.
While Americans are going to scale back in plans, a recent survey of travelers found that 53 percent said the increase in gas prices would not stop their travels.
Of those who said they would be affected by the increasing gas prices travelers said they would take a shorter trip, economize in other areas or travel by an alternate mode of transportation. Ways travelers are going to cut back on the cost of their trip in entertainment, staying at a lower priced hotel, staying at a hotel with value-added amenities or staying with friends and relatives instead of at a hotel.
"While the overall domestic economic picture continues to improve slightly, American consumers faced a new challenge this year as steadily increasing gas prices throughout the spring significantly squeezed many household budgets," Smith said.
Although gas prices are close to $4, more than 30.7 million people are going to travel by car this weekend which is an increase of 1.2 percent over last year. Travelers will travel an average distance of 642 miles this weekend, 150 miles less than last year's average of 792 miles.
While more will be traveling this year, Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace offered tips for driving. He encouraged all motorists to be safe drivers, to drive defensively, wear your seat belts and do not drink and drive since the weather is becoming warmer and more motorists are out more.
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