Travel for 2014 Memorial Day weekend to increase, AAA says - WNEM TV 5

AAA: Memorial Day travel to reach post-recession high

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(RNN) - The U.S. will see its highest number of Memorial Day weekend travelers since the recession and the second-most since 2000, according to travel company AAA.

The number of people who will travel at least 50 miles from home this weekend is projected to top 36.1 million, an increase from last year's 35.5 million travelers.

It is expected that 1.7 million more people than last year will book trips on cruises, buses and trains - a larger increase than any other mode of transportation. Cruise bookings alone have increased 20 percent, a result of attractive discounts designed to lure customers back after disastrous problems last year. Most notably, the Carnival Triumph caught fire and stalled in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving passengers with no running water and little food.

About 2.4 percent more people will fly, and an increase of about 1.2 percent is expected to hit the roadways.

An unusually cold winter that brought harsh and sometimes destructive weather will fuel people's desire to get out of town, according to AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney.

"As we enter into the summer travel season with warmer temperatures and tulips in bloom, thoughts of historic cold are still fresh in the minds of Americans in many parts of the country," Doney said in a statement. "The winter blues appear to have given Americans the travel bug and a case of cruise cabin fever as travel for the holiday is expected to hit a new post-recession high."

AAA reported in the last week of April that gas prices had likely neared their spring peak at an average of $3.70 per gallon, nine cents lower than last year's high. The current national average is $3.64, and that price is expected to fall as the holiday nears.

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