New Jersey Memorial Day Automobile Travel Reaches Highest Level Since 2005

HAMILTON, N.J. – Approximately 977,000 New Jersey residents will travel 50 miles or more for the Memorial Day holiday weekend in 2017, an increase of 2.5 percent,  compared to the  953,230 who traveled in 2016.  The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.

The majority of New Jerseyans, 880,956, plan to travel by automobile, up 2.4 percent from the 860,362 who drove to their holiday destination last year and the highest volume of automobile travelers since 2005. AAA is projecting that 90 percent of holiday travelers will take to New Jersey’s roadways during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, so motorists will need to pack their patience as they set out for the Jersey Shore.

“AAA is expecting more Memorial Day travelers this year than any time in the past 12 years, as confident consumers come out of hibernation, ready to explore the Jersey shore and more,” said Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The great American road trip is officially back and many New Jerseyans are ready to kick off summer with a Memorial Day getaway.”

Nationally, AAA projects the number of Americans traveling for the Memorial Day 2017 holiday to increase 2.7 percent compared to 2016.  Approximately 39.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home.   Last year, 38.3 million Americans traveled during the same period. The 2017 Memorial Day forecast is expected to mark the highest travel volume for the holiday in more than 10 years.  

Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015, the vast majority of holiday travelers (90 percent New Jersey/88.1 percent nationally) are still planning to hit the road. Nationally, automobile travel will grow by 2.4 percent this Memorial Day, with 34.6 million Americans planning a holiday road trip. Today’s New Jersey average gas price is $2.38 per gallon, which is about 25 cents more than one year ago but will not deter New Jersey motorist from hitting the road. 

Travel Breakdown:

Automobile

  • New Jersey—880,956 (90% of all travelers), up 2.4% compared to the 860,362 who drove in 2016.
  • Nationally—34.6 million (88% of all travelers), a 2.4% increase from the 33.8 million who drove last year.

Air

  • New Jersey—65,350 (6.6% of all travelers), up 4.6% from 62,451 last year.
  • Nationally—2.9 million (7.3% of all travelers), an increase of 5.5% from Memorial Day Weekend 2016.

Train, Bus, Watercraft or Multi-Modal Travel

  • New Jersey—30,677 (3.1% of all travelers), up 0.9% from 2016.
  • Nationally—About 1.75 million (4.5% of all travelers), an increase of 2.9% from the 2016 holiday weekend.

Download the AAA Mobile app before a Memorial Day getaway
Before setting out for Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

About the travel forecast:
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast is available here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.