More than 884,000 Georgians are expected to travel by land or air during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, a slight decline from 2009.
According to the AAA Auto Club, national travel is projected to increase by 5.4 percent during the weekend, putting the expected number of travelers at 32.1 million, up from the 30.5 million who traveled last year.
The Southeast, however, is only expected to increase by 0.2 percent and Georgia is predicted to have fewer travelers.
Georgia’s decrease is attributed mostly to a decline in airline travel, Jessica Brady, manager for AAA public relations, said. Where 66,600 traveled by air last year, only 64,700 are expected to fly this weekend.
Georgia’s roads should see a slight increase in drivers over 2009’s Memorial Day with 754,000 Georgians traveling by automobile this weekend, up from last year’s 752,000.
And while gas is about 14 cents per gallon cheaper than it was May 1, it is still, on average, 37 cents more expensive than Memorial Day 2009. As of Wednesday, the average price of regular unleaded was $2.65 in Georgia, compared to $2.28 at the same time last year.
Brady said the closing price of crude oil on Friday will be the driving factor for national retail gasoline prices this weekend.
“Even in the event that crude oil closes at a higher price than it did last Friday, we’ll probably see gas prices in the $2.70 to $2.80 range for the weekend,” Brady said.
"The last two years have left consumers with a pent-up demand to travel, so we aren't surprised to see overall travel numbers increase this coming Memorial Day weekend," said Brady. "Although travel in the Southeast is expected to decline, there will still be millions of motorists on the roadways and passengers at the airports, so safety and patience are of the essence."