More travelers to hit the road for Memorial Day

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Memorial Day travel is expected to increase this year, thanks to healthier economic conditions, according to a report released Thursday by motorist group AAA.

A total of 32.1 million American are planning to travel, a 5.4% increase from last year. They'll spend an average of $809 on their holiday trip, 1.1% less than last year.

"While the economy continues to be rocked by waves of occasional uncertainty, improved economic performance from one year ago should cause more Americans to take vacation this Memorial Day holiday weekend," Glen MacDonell, director of AAA travel services, said in a prepared statement.

AAA travel agents have been reporting double-digit spikes in the percentage of travelers making advanced bookings for tours, cruises and hotels, he added.

The report said 87% of travelers will be driving to their holiday destinations, a 5.8% jump from last year -- thanks in part to gas prices that AA expects to stay under $3 per gallon, on average.

While airfares are unchanged from a year ago, air travel is expected to rise 2.4% to 2.14 million. Another 2 million Americans will travel by rail, buses or watercraft.

Vacationers staying in hotels will get a slight price break: Hotel rates are 1% to 4% lower than last year, AAA found, with travelers spending an average of $99 to $142 per night.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
Nasdaq 4,635.24 -48.17 -1.03%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
Treasuries 1.68 -0.08 -4.34%
Data as of 8:15am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.15 -0.28 -1.81%
Apple Inc 117.16 -1.74 -1.46%
Microsoft Corp 40.40 -1.61 -3.83%
AT&T Inc 32.92 -0.04 -0.12%
General Electric Co 23.89 -0.19 -0.79%
Data as of Jan 30

Sections

Super Bowl ads are getting more expensive every year. But are companies wasting money? In the social media era, tweets and viral videos can also get a company noticed. More

Many in the middle class, particularly the single and the elderly, won't see any tax breaks under Obama's MIddle Class Economics plan More

Here's where Seahawks and Patriots fans eat, shop, and play, according to data from ad tech startup PlaceIQ. More

Wix is advertising in the Super Bowl -- but it's just the latest tech unknown to make its debut there. More

401(k) balances reached a record high last year, thanks to a soaring stock market and larger contributions from workers participating in the savings plans, according to Fidelity. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.