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Despite Price Increases, Expect More Memorial Day Travelers This Weekend

With barbeques and picnics scheduled all throughout the Memorial Day weekend, the number of people traveling for the holiday is expected to increase, as are prices.

According to AAA, this year 36.1 million people are predicted to go at least 50 miles from their homes to celebrate the weekend. That is up 1.5 percent despite some travel costs rising: Average hotel prices have increased $3, rental car prices have risen 1 percent to $44, gas prices are expected to rise and airfare is up 6 percent.

The number of people traveling this weekend in the Mid-Atlantic states — New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — is expected to rise by  0.6 percent to 4.2 million. Car travelers in this region are predicted to reach 3.8 million, up 0.3 percent from last year. Air travel is expected to rise 2.4 percent to 283,000 in the Mid-Atlantic states.

The weather forecast for Memorial Day is conducive for travel this year with a predicted high of 84 degrees in Pittsburgh compared to 62 degrees from last year.

So to cut costs AAA has some suggested tips.

“The biggest thing when you’re starting to think about traveling, especially those who are traveling by car, we’ll have 36.1 million people who are traveling with 88 percent of those folks traveling by car, so you really need to make sure that your car is in good working order mechanically,” said Ruth Nagy, managing director of Travel Operations for AAA East Central.

Using the manufacturer’s suggested tire pressure could save one to two miles per gallon of gas, according to Nagy.

Also, travelers who are going by car should download an app, such as the AAA app, that will allow you to check average gas prices for exits around you.

Jess was accepted as a WESA fellow in the news department in January 2014. The Erie, PA native attends Duquesne University where she has a double major--broadcast journalism and political science. Following her anticipated graduation in May 2015, she plans to enter law school or begin a career in broadcast journalism.