WILKES-BARRE — Nearly 42,000 area residents are expected to travel for Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
This year’s number of expected travelers is slightly higher than last year’s total.
According to AAA’s first travel forecast of the summer, 41,593 Wilkes-Barre area residents are projected to travel 50 miles or more over Memorial Day weekend, representing a 1.7 percent increase over last year and marking the second-highest travel volume on record for the holiday.
The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30.
More than 37,000 travelers from the area are expected to drive to their destinations, which according to AAA, is a 2-percent increase from last year. Nearly 2,700 area travelers plan to fly to their destinations.
“After weeks of see-saw temperatures and a long stretch of rainy weather, Wilkes-Barre residents are looking forward to beginning the summer season,” said Jana L. Tidwell, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Tidwell added that prices at the pump contribute to the increase in travel over the holiday weekend. Today’s average gas price in Wilkes-Barre is $2.44 per gallon, compared to $2.80 on this same date last year.
“Despite recent increases, lower gas prices have undoubtedly fueled the desire to travel,” Tidwell said. “AAA estimates that Americans have saved more than $18 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, and it’s expected that most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2005. ”
Reach Travis Kellar at 570-991-6389 or on Twitter @TLNews