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1.1 Million Memorial Day Travelers Launch Summer Vacation Season

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LANSING (WWJ) – An estimated 1.1 million Michigan residents will travel 50 miles or more on vacation during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, launching the 2013 summer travel season, according to AAA Michigan. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 23 to Monday, May 27.

AAA says the iconic road trip will be the dominant mode of transportation, with 89 percent of travelers nationally going by vehicle. In Michigan, nearly 92 percent will travel by vehicle, slightly more than last year. They will find Michigan gas prices about $3.93 per gallon (as of May 22), up 20 cents from last year.

The number of air travelers in Michigan is slightly down from last year – 4.8 percent this year, compared to nearly 6 percent last year. The remaining estimated three percent of travelers will go by train or bus.

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three-Diamond lodgings are expected to increase four percent, with travelers spending an average $166 nightly. Weekend daily car rental rates will average $43, 19 percent more than last year.

According to survey results, the average distance traveled during the holiday is expected to be 690 miles, 48 miles more than last year. Median spending is expected to be $659, six percent less than last year. Transportation is expected to consume some 28 cents of every dollar. Travelers expect to spend 22 percent on food and beverage and 20 percent on lodging.

Among popular state top travel destinations will be campgrounds, resort areas and lakes.

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