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Triple A Forecasts Record Travel This Memorial Day Weekend

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Despite high gasoline prices, the Triple A says a record number of Americans will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend.

The Triple A estimates that 37.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this coming weekend, a more than two percent increase over last year. Local spokesman Wally Smith says 31 million will travel by car, even though they'll be paying much more for gasoline.

"A fill-up for a 20 gallon gasoline tank might mean you'll pay four more dollars over last year," Smith said. "That doesn't seem to be stopping people from getting on the road."

Gasoline prices in the Buffalo Niagara region currently stand at just over $2.27 a gallon, down about four cents from the record high of $2.31 set earlier this month. Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season. Smith says people like to use the three-day weekend to get out of town.

"This holiday in particular, a little more than half the people who were surveyed plan to visit family and friends," Smith said. "Then there's another group of people who will be traveling to a resort type destination."

Smith said low air fares mean more people will be flying this weekend. Fares are about ten percent lower than they were at this time last year. But Smith says that will be offset by a ten percent increase in hotel rates.