WASHINGTON, D. C. (Wednesday, May 20, 2020) – Last year, a record-setting 1,077,600 holiday travelers hailing from the Washington metro area traveled 50 miles or more for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, AAA Mid-Atlantic forecast. This year will look much, much different. For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast, as the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast has been undermined by COVID-19.
This Memorial Day, Americans may harken back to the “See the USA in a Chevrolet” halcyon “road trip” days of yore. For those who opt to venture out on a one-day road trip over the upcoming holiday weekend, they will experience the cheapest holiday gas prices around Memorial Day in two decades. Although “traveling in the age of COVID-19 can be tricky,” yet with gas prices this low, some Washingtonians may set out on shorter jaunts by car to vistas along the rolling northern Virginia countryside or the Shenandoah Valley, or to Civil War sites in Maryland, or to the peaks of West Virginia, or to a wide array of other venues.
“Gas prices around Memorial Day have not been this cheap in nearly 20 years. However, as the country continues to practice social distancing, this year’s unofficial kick-off to summer is not going to drive the typical millions of Americans to travel,” said John B. Townsend II, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Despite inexpensive gas prices, AAA anticipates this year’s holiday will likely set a record low for travel volume.”
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)
Locally, Washington D.C., remains under a stay at home order until Monday, June 8. In Maryland, Prince George's County will remain under a stay at home order through June 1 and Montgomery County is under a stay at home order without a current end date. Several Northern Virginia counties also remain under a stay at home order until May 28.
Historical Memorial Day Gas Prices
AAA expects that when it is safe to travel again, vacationers will gravitate to road trips and family bookings including air, car, hotel and activities to destinations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Shortly thereafter, assuming international travel restrictions are lifted, we expect to see more demand for tropical destinations and a wider range of international travel.
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