Fewer Maryland motorists are expected to travel this year, but Memorial Day weekend 2013 will still be one of the busiest of the past 12 years, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“It appears changing current economic conditions as a result of sequestration, which has impacted the wallets of many, may be influencing some residents’ uneasiness to travel this Memorial Day holiday,” said Ragina C. Averella, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
More than 718,000 Marylanders are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend—down 1.2 percent from Memorial Day weekend 2012. AAA estimates 91 percent of those traveling will go by motor vehicle, with the average roundtrip totaling 737 miles—up from 570 miles last year.
Click here to read the complete AAA/IHS Global Insight Memorial Day 2013 Forecast.
Gas prices are projected to be lower than Memorial Day weekend 2012, but that extra money will not find its way into the economy. Marylanders told AAA they plan to spend less: $867 in 2013 vs. $972 in 2012.
Averella said people will still travel, but are “scaling back on shopping, entertainment/recreation and food and beverages.”
Gas prices typically drop approximately 14 percent in the three weeks leading up to Memorial Day, and 2013 looks to be no different, AAA said.
Around Memorial Day weekend 2012, gas prices in the Maryland suburbs averaged $3.68 per gallon. As of May 21, 2013 they stood at $3.57. The declining prices may signal the start of one of the cheapest summers, gas price-wise, in recent years, with analysts projecting prices between $3.20 and $3.40 per gallon.