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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 mcarollo@tampabay.com. 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]
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