AAA projects highest Memorial Day travel in 8 years
Lower gas prices and a stronger economy are fueling what is expected to be the largest Memorial Day travel volume since 2007.
According to AAA of Michigan, more than 1.1 million winter-weary Michiganians are expected to travel during the holiday weekend, a nearly 5 percent increase over the 1 million who took to the road in 2014.
"After a wicked winter, Michiganders are ready to trade in their winter wear for flip flops, summer fun and a vacation getaway," said Susan Hiltz, public affairs director for AAA Michigan.
"AAA is expecting more Memorial Day travelers this year than any time in the past eight years. With the economy up and gas price down, it's the perfect formula for travelers to enjoy everything our great state has to offer this summer."
More than 1 million of those travelers are expected to drive to their Memorial Day getaway spots spurred on by gas that averages $2.60 per gallon, $1.05 lower than the average holiday price in 2014.
Holiday air travel is expected to rise by 2.6 percent to nearly 60,000 flyers while 46,000 travelers are expected to take to trains and buses.
According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, the average daily car rental rate this Memorial Day is $19 higher than last year.
The average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is 16 percent higher this year at $144, while Three Diamond hotels will cost seven percent more, averaging $182. But on the plus side, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are two percent cheaper this year, falling to $222.
Sampling of Memorial Day events in Metro Detroit
■ Hazel Park Memorial Festival at Green Acre Park (75 W. Woodward Heights). The event includes a carnival, bingo, parade, car and craft shows and more. May 21 through May 25.
■ Memorial Day Ceremony at Southfield City Hall (26000 Evergreen) at 9 a.m. on May 22.
■ Weekend camping at Groveland Oaks County Park (14555 Dixie Highway, Holly), which will include patriotic crafts, bingo, bike parade, DJ dance, outdoor concerts and a magic show. May 22 throughout May 25.
■ Northville Downtown Flower Sale from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. May 22.
■ Witamy! St. Mary's Polish Country Fair (3535 Indian Trail, Orchard Lake Village) offering local bands, a Vegas tent, authentic Polish cuising, dancing and carnival rides.
■ Free admission day to the Troy Aquatic Center (3425 Civic Center Drive) from noon until 7:30 p.m. on May 22.
■ Boogie your blues away at the Detroit Institute of Arts at its Mr. B's Blues and Boogie Piano Celebration at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. May 22. Performers include Mr. B, Axel Zwingenberger, Lila Ammons and Bob Seeley.
■ In Clarkston, Eddie Money will start the summer season at the DTE Energy Music Theater. Visit palacenet.com for tickets.
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