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More Americans Will Hit the Road Memorial Day Weekend

Jonathan Leon Rosen/Getty Images
Jonathan Leon Rosen/Getty Images

If you’re driving to your vacation destination this Memorial Day, you’re not alone. AAA says that 1.2 percent more Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday weekend than they did last year. For the majority of Americans, gas prices weren’t the deciding factor in their choice to drive rather than use an alternative form of transportation, but fuel costs still impacted travel plans for a chunk of Americans.

“A survey of intended travelers found that 53 percent said recent increases in gasoline prices would not impact their Memorial Day holiday travel plans,” writes AAA. “Of the remaining 47 percent of travelers who said gas prices would impact their travel plans, nine percent are planning to take a shorter trip, four percent will travel by an alternate mode of transportation and 34 percent will economize in other areas.”

AAA says that Americans in lower income brackets are most affected by gas prices. The survey found that the number of Memorial Day travelers who earn less than $50,000 has dropped 5 percent this year, the number of those who earn between $50,000 and $100,000 has fallen by 1 percent and travelers with household incomes more than $100,000 increased 6 percent.

While gas prices won’t impact Memorial Day plans for the majority of Americans, the current gas prices still have a significant portion of people watching their budgets. Today, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.72, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That’s about 22 cents less than it cost one year ago.

Motorists “took a hit from high gasoline prices this spring and will try to save money by staying close to home and cutting entertainment costs,” says Reuters.

Sixty-five percent of Americans will cut back on entertainment costs, 34 percent will stay with friends or family rather than at a hotel and 27 percent will stay at a hotel with “value-added amenities like free breakfast and internet,” according to AAA.

You can’t control gas prices, but you can curb costs in other ways. When you’re away from home, you can use smartphone applications like GasBuddy to find the least expensive gas where you are. Or, you can a rent car that’s more fuel-efficient than the one you own.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. You can also find the best local prices in the area by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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