Higher gas prices not expected to impact Memorial Day travel

Higher gas prices not expected to impact Memorial Day travel

Near-record travel numbers are predicted in Iowa and nationwide for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, kicking off the summer vacation season.

Rose White, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, says the motor club is forecasting more than 41-million Americans will be taking trips during the holiday, a five-percent increase from last year and the largest number in a dozen years.

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White says, “Of those traveling, about 36.6-million will travel by car, another 3.1-million will fly to their destinations and 1.8-million will travel by other modes, including cruise ship.” Crude oil prices are up and gasoline prices are following suit, though White says higher pump prices won’t deter most motorists from hitting the holiday road.

“For those traveling across Iowa, you can expect to see retail prices about $2.76 a gallon, that’s up about 51-cents compared to what we saw last year,” White says. “Things you can do to save on fuel include: avoid aggressive driving, combine errands when possible and consider using a higher ethanol blend of fuel.”

For example, the E-85 blend is selling for about 50-cents a gallon below regular unleaded. If you’re driving long-distance during the weekend, it might be helpful to look over a few things on your vehicle before leaving. AAA expects to rescue more than 340,000 motorists at the roadside this Memorial Day weekend.

“To avoid being stranded, you may want to have your battery checked,” White says. “Also, have a spare key handy and also check your tires. Those are the top three leading reasons why we see service breakdowns during the holiday period.” The top five travel destinations over Memorial Day are: Orlando, Seattle, Honolulu, Las Vegas and Anchorage, Alaska.

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