LIMA — AAA expects the Memorial Day weekend to be the busiest since 2019, despite rising fuel prices.
The agency estimates nearly 1.5 million Ohioans will travel at least 50 miles from home, a 6.9% increase over last summer as Ohio gradually returns to pre-pandemic trends.
“Memorial Day is always a good predictor of what’s to come for summer travel,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a press release Tuesday. “Based on our projections, summer travel isn’t just heating up, it will be on fire. People are overdue for a vacation and they are looking to catch up on some much-needed R&R in the coming months.”
Travelers should anticipate busy roads: AAA expects 92% of Ohio travelers to drive to their destinations, a slight decrease from last summer that could still result in extended travel times, particularly for those driving through major metro areas during peak hours.
Transportation analytics company INRIX expects the heaviest traffic during afternoon hours on Thursday and Friday.
Travelers should anticipate higher costs for everything from the pump to airfare and hotels, although AAA estimates suggest average daily car rental rates have declined since last summer to about $100 per day for the lowest rates.
Fuel prices will be particularly daunting for travelers: Last Memorial Day weekend, a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the area cost an average of $2.90, according to price tracker GasBuddy.
The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the area on Tuesday was $4.26, up 13 cents from the previous week, GasBuddy estimates show.