SOURCE: AAA Texas

May 19, 2008 13:45 ET

AAA Texas: Memorial Day Holiday Travel Down Slightly

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - May 19, 2008) - Record high gas prices appear to be forcing some travelers to rethink their travel plans this Memorial Day holiday, with 2.78 million Texans expected to head out for the holiday. That is down slightly more than one-half of one percent (0.59%) compared to last year, according to AAA Texas.

Of those, 1.95 million will drive to their holiday destination, which is nearly a one percent drop over the 1.97 million that drove in 2007. More than 414,000 people statewide are expected to fly to their holiday getaways about the same as last year.

Nationally, 37.87 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday, a decrease of nearly 360,000 travelers (-0.9 percent) from last year's total of 38.23 million.

"Across the state and much of the country, motorists driving to their holiday destinations will encounter the highest prices ever recorded for a gallon of gasoline," said AAA Texas spokesperson Rose Rougeau.

In Texas, a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline averages $3.690, 65 cents higher than a year ago.

"Despite the small decrease in the number of people heading out, we will still see a significant number of people traveling during the holiday weekend," said Rougeau.

And where are they going? According to a survey of AAA Texas travel agents, the most popular destinations for Texas travelers will be:

     1)  San Antonio
     2)  Orlando, Florida (Disney)
     3)  National Parks -- Western states (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Utah
         National Parks)
     4)  Galveston (Including Galveston Island & Cruises to Western
         Caribbean)
     5)  Las Vegas

Families who want to estimate the fuel costs for their holiday trip can use AAA's online tool, www.fuelcostcalculator.com.

-- In Texas, about 40% say they will spend less than $300 on their trip with 35% indicating they'll spend $301 - $600.

-- Among U.S. adults living in households with children under 18 and that are planning on traveling this Memorial Day holiday, more than half (55.3%) say they will travel with their children.

-- The largest share of U. S. travelers plan to travel with two or three other people from their household (47.3%).

-- About one in five U.S. travelers say they will travel alone.

According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, air fares over the Memorial Day holiday weekend are expected to rise eight percent over last year as air passengers will pay an average $179. Car rental rates will climb significantly higher with consumers paying an average of $45 per day compared to $31 a year ago, an increase of 45 percent. Hotel rates for AAA 3 Diamond hotels are expected to be seven percent less than last year with travelers spending an average of $162 per night. However, travelers planning to stay at AAA 2 Diamond hotels will pay an average of $112 per night, nine percent more than a year ago.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Rose Rougeau
    1.800.888.5521 (ext. 6552)
    E-Mail: Email Contact