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People traveling in near-record numbers this holiday weekend despite high gas prices

Posted at 4:37 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 19:37:37-04

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer and people are traveling in near-record numbers despite the high gas prices.

“We are going up to Yosemite for the weekend. We are kind of doing an early trip this year," said Nate Bass from San Luis Obispo. "We are going Memorial weekend, we are heading up to Yosemite West. We got a cabin up there that we rented.”

According to AAA, more than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That’s five percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years.

The increase in gas prices does not seem to be affecting most people’s travel plans.

“It’s just a girls weekend and we are always looking to go places and have a great time regardless of the weather or gas prices,” said Gigi Rodriguez, tourist.

Inrix, an analytics company, predicts travel delays could be up to three times longer than normal.

“We always expect it to be crowded on Memorial Day weekend so when you are traveling on the holiday weekend, you just expect it,” said Nellie Ireland, tourist.

The majority of travelers will be going to the beach or ocean destinations, like the Central Coast, according to TripAdvisor.

“The scenery here is just gorgeous. It’s a quiet beach, there are not a lot of people around and it’s just a really nice place to be,” said Hayley Beauregard.  

Thursday and Friday will be the busiest travel days.  

Most traffic congestion will be in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.

Here are the top five destinations in the country for this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA:

  • Orlando, Florida
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Anchorage, Alaska