Busy travel expected Memorial Day weekend

by Sarah Fay Campbell

By Sarah Fay Campbell sarah@newnan.com

This Memorial Day weekend travel season is expected to be the biggest since 2005, according to AAA.

AAA predicts that 36.1 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles during the travel period, which runs from Thursday to Monday. That’s a 1.5 percent increase from last year, the second highest number of travelers since 2000, and 2.6 percent higher than the 10-year historical average.

“A long and unusually harsh winter gave many Americans the travel bug,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Combine rising temperatures with signs of an improving economy, and travel for the holiday should hit a new post-recession high.”

Improvements in several key economic factors are driving the prediction, according to Jenkins. “Consumer spending, disposable income, consumer confidence and the employment outlook are trending up which is welcomed news for the travel industry,” he said.

Although more people will be traveling, 57 percent of travelers in the Southeast still need to finalize their travel plans, according to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey.

“Hotel and car rental reservations are filling up fast for Memorial Day," said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Travel. "Now is the time to make your Memorial Day travel arrangements to ensure you get what you want for the price that fits your budget.”

In Georgia, there are expected to be 1 million holiday weekend travelers, with nearly all of them traveling by automobile.

Travelers will likely be seeing slightly lower gasoline prices by next weekend, thanks to rising supplies, according to AAA. The organization expects prices to be similar or slightly lower than last year’s national Memorial Day average of $3.63 though, of course, unexpected developments could push prices higher.

The national average fell two cents last week, according to Gas Buddy, and more price relief should be on the way. Refineries have completed their switch to summer blend gasoline, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for Gas Buddy.

“The blend costs more to produce, but will likely no longer be the reason for rising prices,” DeHaan said. “This should help drive prices down in coming weeks as refineries boost production of summer gasoline and inventories rise.”

The Georgia state average price on Friday was $3.634, down from $3.658 a week according, according to AAA’s fuelgaugereport.com website.



More Local

Coweta school bus routes now online

The Coweta County School System has finalized its bus routes for next week’s start of the 2014-15 school year Wednesday, Aug. 6. A lis ... Read More


UPDATE

Tonight's 'Screen on the Green' postponed

UPDATE: Tonight's Screen on the Green First Friday Event has been postponed, and rescheduled for Friday October 3rd. It is the interest of M ... Read More


Senoia police warn of new round of phone scams

The Senoia Police Department is warning of three separate scams that Senoia residents have recently fallen victim to. Two of these scams are ... Read More


Niagara bottling holds job recruitment

A line of applicants wrapped around the hallways inside the West Georgia Technical College Coweta Campus Thursday as Niagara Bottling held a ... Read More


Tax-free shopping until midnight Saturday

Georgia’s annual sales tax holiday for back-to-school shopping runs today and Saturday. Clothes, school supplies and computers, within ... Read More

State Superintendent Race

Coweta vote totals the same in recount

By Celia Shortt celia@newnan.com Coweta County’s numbers for the recount in the Republican runoff election for state school superinten ... Read More