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The high gas price or the shortage may not be stopping some from still traveling during the Memorial Day holiday.

According to AAA, 1.1 million North Carolinians are expected to travel during the holiday weekend. That’s about a 61% increase from last year, when fewer than residents traveled, due to the pandemic.

Gas prices are trending $1 higher than last year when residents were under the statewide stay-at-home order.  However, the country has mostly opened back up and even with the average gas price at $2.93 in North Carolina people are forecast to travel.

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“Many Carolinians are so eager to travel, we don’t expect higher gas prices to interfere with their plans,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “We typically find when pump prices increase, travelers look for more free activities or eat out less while on vacation, but still take their planned trips.”

Gas prices were expected to be around $3 per gallon leading up to Memorial Day weekend, AAA says but last week’s shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline caused prices to spike weeks ahead of the holiday.


North Carolina Memorial Day Travel Volumes
Total Automobile Air Other
2021 1.1 million 1 million 76,961 3,352
2020 678,000 664,298 11,305 2,561
2019 1.2 million 1.1 million 99,697 31,706


“A year’s worth of pent-up demand is being unleashed this summer, as Americans anticipate the kick off to the season,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Travel bookings with AAA – The Auto Club Group have surged recently, setting the stage for what should be a busy holiday weekend and an exciting summer.”

AAA reports the top road trip destinations North Carolinians plan to travel to include Las Vegas, NV, Orlando, FL, Myrtle Beach, Denver, CO and Nashville, TN.




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