PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Drivers hitting the road for Memorial Day weekend shouldn’t expect major price increases at the pump. AAA says the price of gas per gallon has only changed by 10 cents or less in most states in the week leading up to the holiday.
In Oregon, the average gas price increased 5 cents to $4.18 per gallon and the national average increased 1 cent to $3.54 per gallon.
AAA predicts Memorial Day travel volume in 2023 will be the third busiest on record and that 578,000 Oregonians and 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over Memorial Day weekend.
Nationwide, that’s a 7% increase over 2022 and AAA says it’s a sign of a busy summer travel season ahead.
In the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, AAA predicts 8.4% more people will travel in 2023 compared to 2022’s Memorial Day weekend.
“Memorial Day 2023 will likely be one for the record books. Despite inflation, more Americans are planning trips and booking them earlier. Air travel in particular is seeing a significant bump, even with higher airfare,” said Doreen Loofburrow, senior vice president of travel at AAA Oregon/Idaho.
AAA says nearly 88% of Memorial Day travelers will drive to their destinations, but air travel is still expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, up 11% over 2022.
Travelers should know that flights, hotels, rental cars, campsites, tours and cruises are all in high demand and AAA suggests booking travel plans as soon as possible.
To save money, the company suggests staying in all-inclusive resorts or taking a cruise to limit the cost of things like rental cars, dining and entertainment.
“This year’s travel volume lags only behind 2005 and 2019,” said Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.
AAA booking data shows that theme parks, big cities and beaches are the most popular Memorial Day destinations. In the U.S., the top destinations are Anaheim, Calif.; Haui, Hawaii; Las Vegas, Nevada; Orlando, Fla.; and Seattle, Wash.
Internationally, the top destinations are Rome, Italy; London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Paris, France; and Vancouver, Canada.
In Oregon, top destinations include the Oregon coast, Central Oregon and Crater Lake.