Low Gas Prices Mean Busy Memorial Day Traffic Forecast

Beltway Traffic/Credit: BethesdaNow.comMore than 1 million Virginians will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, the American Automobile Association projects.

They will join 37.2 million travelers nationwide who will drive or fly more than 50 miles from home during the holiday weekend.

The 2015 projection is an increase of 4.2 percent over the number of Virginians who traveled in 2014 and the highest travel volume for the holiday since 2005, AAA Mid- Atlantic says.

Virginia’s lowest gas prices  in five years — around $2.69 a gallon in Reston –have boosted travel numbers.

“Fluctuating gas prices had little impact on Virginians’ decision to travel in the past,” said Tammy Arnette, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Public Affairs Specialist. “This year is a different story, however, as gas prices hit a five-year holiday low and prompted more holiday celebrations away from home.”

AAA says:

Of the over 1 million travelers, 90 percent of Virginians (952,358) will travel by automobile, an increase of 4.8 percent over last Memorial Day.

Holiday air travel is expected to increase 1.8 percent to 77,491 passengers with average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes coming in two percent cheaper this year, falling to $222.

This year’s travelers will encounter slightly higher average daily car rental rates, up $19 from 2014.

Three Diamond hotels will cost seven percent more, averaging $182.

Gas prices in Virginia overall are averaging $2.48 a gallon — $1 per gallon less than last year and the the lowest since Memorial Day 2009, when prices were $2.33.

Beltway traffic/file photo

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