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Road trips increase this holiday

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Friday, May 24, 2013
Posted: 11 am ET

Planning to get away this Memorial Day weekend? The number of holiday travelers who are taking car road trips this weekend is up slightly over last year, according to AAA. AAA Travel is expecting 31.2 million people to travel by automobile this year, an increase from 31.1 million over Memorial Day weekend last year.

Those taking car road trips this year represent 89 percent of travelers this weekend, with the remaining 11 percent traveling by air. AAA says that the number of travelers overall will drop slightly, 0.9 percent, compared to the 2012 holiday, but the volume is still expected to be above the 12-year historical average of 34.7 million.

On average, holiday travelers will journey 690 miles, 48 more miles than last year's average. AAA said that its survey of holiday travelers indicated that gas prices had zero impact on plans for 62 percent of travelers. But 27 percent of the remaining travelers said they would reduce their spending in other areas to compensate, while 8 percent planned to take a shorter trip, and 3 percent said they planned to use an alternative mode of transportation.

Those travelers who will be renting a car this weekend will find themselves facing the highest daily rates recorded for the Memorial Day holiday since 2009. AAA said car rental rates would average $43 a day, a 19 percent increase over last year. To help save money, those renting a car should also check their primary auto insurance to see if they can avoid purchasing the additional insurance coverage at the rental car counter.

Are your traveling by car this Memorial Day weekend? Is your trip shorter or longer than last year, and is it because of financial reasons?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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