Home AAA: Virginians hit the roads, airways for long holiday weekend, official start of summer

AAA: Virginians hit the roads, airways for long holiday weekend, official start of summer

family flying kite
(© Kiattisak – stock.adobe.com)

Virginians are busy packing suitcases and buying sunscreen to prepare for travel to officially kick off summer on the road.

According to AAA, nearly 1.2 million Virginia residents will be traveling a distance of 50 miles or more this Memorial Weekend.

That’s nearly four percent increase over last year, and it would be the second busiest Memorial Day weekend in Virginia since AAA started tracking holiday travel back in 2000.

Nearly 9 out of every 10 holiday travelers in the Commonwealth, or 1.06 million, will be hitting the roads for the unofficial start to the summer:

  • Auto travel is predicted to be up nearly four percent over last year and would be similar to the number of travelers who drove to their destinations in the pre-pandemic days of 2019.
  • Air travel is predicted to set another new Memorial Day holiday record for Virginia, soaring past last year’s travel volume by more than 4 percent. More than 102,000 travelers are predicted to jet off to their holiday destinations, which is nearly 7 percent higher than the number of air travelers Virginia saw back in 2019.
  • The other category makes up a small portion of holiday travelers, but it continues to grow post-COVID. Nearly 35,000 are predicted to travel by bus, rail or cruise ship over the long holiday weekend. That’s up 4 percent from last year and up 15 percent from 2019.

Gas prices in Virginia

Gas prices in Virginia have been on the decline recently and are similar to what they were leading into Memorial Day last year.

Virginia’s average is $3.40, down four cents in a week, down 12 cents in a month, and is nine cents more than a year ago.

Barring any unforeseen events, prices should continue to decline into Memorial Day weekend and beyond.

For this forecast, the Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from May 23-27.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.