Memorial Day travel surge expected | Local News

Weekend traffic

AAA expects heavy holiday weekend traffic to kick off a busy summer travel season.

Mike Morones

Nearly 1 million Virginians are expected to hit the road for the Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer travel.

The three-day holiday weekend also is expected to be a harbinger of the summer travel season, with a poll by auto club AAA predicting a surge in travelers.

AAA expects 1.04 million Virginians will travel for Memorial Day, with 967,400 expected to go by car. All told, AAA estimates that 37 million people will travel this weekend across the country, mostly by car. AAA noted that holiday travel should rebound to 88 percent of those who did so in 2019.

The expected Memorial Day traveler spike is “a strong indication that summer travel is going to be largely popular,” AAA spokesperson Morgan Dean said in a news release. “With the increase in travel demand, gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up, so plan ahead.”

The recent hack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline caused a spike in gas prices. AAA said the coming weekend’s gas prices are likely to be the most expensive since Memorial Day in 2014.

In Virginia, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas has held steady in recent days at $2.94, up 24 cents from a month ago and $1.19 more than a year ago. The national average cost for gas dropped by 1 cent over the weekend to $3.03.

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