Approximately 960,100 New Jersey residents will travel 50 miles or more for the Memorial Day holiday weekend in 2016, an increase of 1.7% compared to the 944,169 who traveled in 2015. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30.
The majority of New Jerseyans, 871,644, plan to travel by automobile, up 2% from the 854,449 who drove to their holiday destination last year and the highest volume of automobile travelers since 2005. AAA is projecting that 91% of holiday travelers will take to New Jersey’s roadways during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, so motorists will need to pack their patience along with the sunscreen as they set out for the Jersey Shore.
“AAA is expecting more Memorial Day travelers this year than any time in the past 10 years as confident consumers come out of hibernation ready to explore national parks, beach destinations and America’s great cities,” said Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The great American road trip is officially back thanks to low gas prices. After a cold wet spring many New Jerseyans are ready to trade in their galoshes for flip flops and kick off summer with a Memorial Day getaway.”
AAA estimates that Americans have saved $18 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, and prices are at the lowest levels in 11 years. The strong labor market and rising personal income are also motivating people to travel for Memorial Day this year.
Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans
Travelers continue to benefit from substantially lower gas prices compared to recent years. Today’s New Jersey average gas price is $2.14 per gallon, which is about 40 cents less per gallon than last year. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2005.
Nationally, AAA projects the number of Americans traveling for the Memorial Day 2016 holiday to increase 1.9% compared to 2015. Approximately 38 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home. Last year, 37.3 million Americans traveled during the same period. The 2016 Memorial Day forecast is expected to mark the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years.
- New Jersey—871,644 (91% of all travelers), up 2% compared to the 854,449 who drove in 2015.
- Nationally—34 million (89% of all travelers), a 2.1% increase from the 33.2 million who drove last year.
- New Jersey—60,006 (6.3% of all travelers), up 0.7% from 59,603 last year.
- Nationally—2.6 million (6.7% of all travelers), an increase of 1.6% from Memorial Day Weekend 2015.
Train, Bus, Watercraft or Multi-Modal Travel
- New Jersey—28,446 (2.9% of all travelers), down 5.5% from 2015.
- Nationally—About 1.6 million (4.2% of all travelers), down 2.3% from the 2015 holiday weekend.