Americans Are Traveling (& Spending) More Than Ever This Memorial Day


This year, Americans want to spend their Memorial Day weekend away from home, despite reports that gas prices are going to be the highest they’ve been in more than a decade.

This is according to a recent report from AAA, which used economic variables to forecast domestic travel volumes, as well as data from research firm IHS Markit. The study — which qualified Memorial Day travel as going 50 or more miles away from home during Thursday, May 25 and Monday, May 29 — predicts that 39.3 million travelers will be hitting the road this year for the long weekend, which is up 2.7% (roughly one million) from 2016, making this the highest volume of Memorial Day weekend travel since 2005.

And as the amount of travelers increase, so do gas prices. The gas prices averaged at around $2.74 in 2015, dropped to $2.32 in 2016 but are predicted to rise to the highest gas prices since 2005, AAA reported. This is unfortunate news for the 34.6 million Americans (88.1% of travelers) who reportedly plan to drive to their destinations.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”

What You’ll Pay to Get Away

Although the survey reports travelers intend to drive despite high gas prices, this isn’t the only thing they’ll need to consider as they get behind the wheel. According to last year’s accident and traffic data from Waze, a community-based mapping app, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York were the busiest metro areas over Memorial Day weekend, especially on Thursday and Friday. An extra precaution should be taken for most drivers especially because the number of car rentals are increasing this year as well. AAA’s car rental bookings are 19% higher than last Memorial Day and the cost has risen to an average of $66 per day, 7% more than last year.

The 2.9 million Americans choosing to fly to their destinations are also seeing a cost increase. AAA reports airfare rates are higher than last Memorial Day, saying the average airfare for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 9% higher. If you do plan on flying anywhere this Memorial Day weekend, you may want to read up on the best credit cards to use at every major airport in America to help ensure you get the best bang for your buck when you’re there. Just remember, these travel cards tend to require you have an excellent credit score to qualify. So, if you’re looking to apply for one, it’s a good idea to check out your credit ahead of time. You can see two of your credit scores for free on

While driving and flying dominate the survey, AAA projects travel by other modes (including trains, buses and cruises) will rise to 1.75 million this year, the highest level since 2009. The cost for transportation isn’t the only thing on the rise — hotels costs are also going up. The average AAA Three Diamond Rated Hotel for this Memorial Day weekend costs an average $215 each night, 18% more than last year.

Whether or not you’re traveling this holiday weekend, you will want to check out these 50 ways to honor the true meaning of Memorial Day

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3 Things You Absolutely Should Not Discuss With Your Family Over the Holidays

Thanksgiving dishes

In a perfect world, we would all get along with our families. But here in reality, family is, well, family. Especially during the holidays. It’s an emotionally charged time when we’re expected to be on our best behavior and generous with gifts. But as soon as someone says the wrong thing, long-held grudges come to the surface. To help you avoid this, we tapped Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson, assistant professor in psychiatry at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, for some advice on what not to bring up at the dinner table this season.

1. How Much Something Cost

Let’s say your brother just bought a home in a fancy new high rise. Naturally, you’d want to know what it cost. But just as it’s nosy to ask about anyone’s salary, it’s rude to ask how much they paid for their home (or anything else), says Vinson. “That’s a really personal question to shy away from, as it can tell a lot about someone’s status” and potentially cause resentment. If someone feels comfortable discussing it, they’ll say so. Otherwise let it be.

2. What Makes You Angry

You’d think most people wouldn’t need a reminder not to dredge up old baggage. But it happens constantly, says Vinson, especially when it’s money-related. There may be anger over an outstanding loan or someone may feel mad about co-signing a sibling’s mortgage. Whatever the issue, aim to discuss it in private and at a time when you can speak clearly.

3. Your Children’s Allowance

Discussing your children’s allowance seems like a harmless enough topic, but issues around kids and how much they’re getting may cause other family members to look at you differently. They may not agree with your approach or wonder why you have enough to open a trust fund but not give a loan. “This is a big parent decision that’s up to them,” Vinson says, but while the holidays are a good time to discuss your children’s allowance with your partner, it’s best to do it away from extended family, who are likely to judge.

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