Make us your home page

Record number of Floridians traveling for Memorial Day

Gas up. AAA projects that 2.08 million Sunshine State residents will be traveling this Memorial Holiday weekend, the most since 2005.
[Times file photo]

Gas up. AAA projects that 2.08 million Sunshine State residents will be traveling this Memorial Holiday weekend, the most since 2005. [Times file photo]

Batten down the hatches: More Floridians are set to travel during the Memorial Day holiday than since 2005. AAA projections being released today estimate that 2.08 million Sunshine State residents will be striking out for the holiday, among 39.3 million weekend road warriors nationwide.

"The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year," Vicky Evans, AAA assistant vice president for travel sales development, said in a release. "Higher confidence, rising wages and recent gas price declines have bolstered consumer spending, leaving many Americans with more money to spend on travel this Memorial Day."

According to Evans, trips booked through AAA are up 17 percent from this time last year for Florida. This year's record-breaking crowd is up a little more than 3 percent from last year's 66,169 count.

Most Americans, the release said, will stay within a 50-mile radius of their home. For those traveling by car, state gas prices averaged $2.32 per gallon Tuesday afternoon, slightly higher than this past week's $2.28 per gallon. Last year, gas averaged $2.25 per gallon in Florida for Memorial Day and $2.32 per gallon nationally.

Contact Malena Carollo at [email protected] Follow @malenacarollo.

Travel by Numbers:

• This year's Memorial Day weekend will be the busiest in 12 years.

• 34.6 million Americans — or 88 percent of travelers — will drive to their destinations.

• 2.9 million travelers will fly.

•1.75 million will travel by other mode, including cruises, trains and buses.

• Florida's average gas price of $2.32 a gallon is seven cents higher than Memorial Day weekend 2016.

Top Travel Destinations

1. Orlando

2. Rome, Italy

3. London, England

4. Dublin, Ireland

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Seattle, Washington

7. Las Vegas, Nevada

8. New York, N.Y.

9. Paris, France

10, Honolulu, Hawaii

Source: AAA Memorial Day Travel Forecast

Record number of Floridians traveling for Memorial Day 05/17/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA


    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]
  2. Pinellas deputies go door-to-door at dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors


    Pinellas deputies began pounding on doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday, part of a widespread roundup of contractors accused of working without licences and workers compensation.

    Pinellas Sheriff deputies J. Short, left, and T. Festa, right, arrest suspect Randy Ronchi, center, in Largo early Tuesday, as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  3. HQ2 watch: As deadline looms for Amazon headquarters pitch, one metro bows out


    If there's one national business saga to keep up on these days, it's the frenzy by metropolitan areas — including Tampa Bay — to make their best pitches to Amazon in the hope of being chosen as the new location for the giant online retailer's second massive headquarters. HQ2, as it is called, would create …

    Cities across the country are trying to land Amazon's second headquarters, known as HQ2. In Birmingham, Ala., giant Amazon boxes were constructed and placed around the city as part of its "Bring A to B" campaign. [Ali Clark/Bring A to B Campaign]
  4. Shares in Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations rebound from stronger earnings report


    TAMPA — After a sharp drop in its stock price in August and September, Health Insurance Innovations on Monday announced strong revenue and net income gains in preliminary numbers for its third quarter of the year. The company also announced a $50 million stock buyback over the next two years meant to bolster its …

    After losing more than half its market value between August and September, shares in Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations are rebounding."The new share repurchase program underscores our confidence in our business strategy, financial performance, and the long-term prospects of our company while also allowing us the financial flexibility to continue to invest in our business," company CEO Gavin Southwell announced Monday. [Courtesy of LinkedIn]
  5. Trigaux: Campaign aims to leverage tourism ads to recruit millennials, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay's unleashing one of its best weapons — a cadre of successful entrepreneurs and young business leaders — in a marketing campaign already under way but officially …

    Erin Meagher, founder of Tampa coconut oil products company Beneficial Blends, is part of a group of business savvy millennial entrepreneurs and managers who are helping to pitch the work-live-play merits of the Tampa Bay market in a new marketing campaign called Make It Tampa Bay. The campaign is backed by Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. and aimed at recruiting more millennial talent to relocate and stay in the Tampa Bay area. [Courtesy Tampa Hillsborough EDC, Visit Tampa Bay]