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After a Harsh Winter, Local Residents Plan to Travel on Memorial Day Weekend

John Mooney

Friday, May 23, 2014 • 2:50pm

More than 36 million Americans, including nearly 950,000 in NJ, plan to travel for the holiday

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- With winter firmly in the rear-view mirror, many people are planning Memorial Day Weekend getaways.  AAA predicts that nearly 950,000 New Jersey residents will hit the road, skies, or rails this weekend, a 0.6 percent increase from one year ago.

Memorial Day unofficially kicks off the summer driving season, and automobile travel looks like it will be the dominant mode of transportation this year. By the numbers:

  • Automobile travel in New Jersey: 845,364, a 0.3% increase from last year
  • Air transportation in New Jersey: 62,808, an increase of 2.4% from those who flew in 2013.
  • Train, bus, or other in New Jersey: 35,971 (8.6% of travelers), a 5.1% increase from last year

Despite the increased amount of cars on the road, vacationers such as local resident Stanley Louissaint, an IT Consultant for Fluid Designs in Union, won’t be daunted.

“The typical two-hour drive from here to the Hamptons might be closer to 3.5 to 4 hours because of the ‘start’ of summer,” Louissant said. “You can't let things that you have no control over limit the ability to enjoy life.

“Even though warmer temperatures are here, thoughts of the historic cold are still fresh in the minds of New Jerseyans,” said Cathleen Lewis of the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club. “The winter blues have awakened the travel bug in many people, and we are expecting travel to hit a new post-recession high.”

Improvements in several key economic factors are driving the expectation for more holiday travelers this year; consumer spending, disposable income, consumer confidence and the employment outlook are trending upward, which is welcomed news for the travel industry.

2014 Gas Prices

AAA expects that most drivers will pay lower gas prices $3.49 per gallon (as of May 20, 2014) on Memorial Day weekend due to rising supplies. This compares with:

2013: $3.42

2012: $3.56

2011: $3.77

Make Sure Your Car Is Up for the Trip

AAA recommends routine, preventative maintenance to decrease the likelihood that a vehicle will break down on the road, and the organization’s Springfield location offers free vehicle trip checks. Call (973) 921-3559 for details or to make an appointment. 

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