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Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

Media Availability: Tuesday, May 22 – 10:00 am to 12:00 noon

AAA Car Care, Insurance and Travel Center

1601 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Media Contact: Jana Tidwell, 302-353-6563 cell


AAA: Philadelphia-Area Memorial Day Travel Volume at Highest Level since 2005


More than 480,000 Philadelphia-area residents expected to travel for Memorial Day weekend,

up nearly 5 percent over last year, says AAA


PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 22, 2018) The unofficial start of summer is here and with it, plenty of travel plans for Memorial Day. According to AAA’s first travel forecast of the summer season, more than 480,000 Philadelphia-area residents will travel (50 miles or more) over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, representing a 4.7 percent increase over last year. Kicking off the summer driving season, nearly 433,000 Philadelphia-area travelers (or 90 percent of all local travelers) will drive to their destinations. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28.


“The unofficial start of the summer season is here and Philadelphia-area residents are ready to kick off the Memorial Day weekend with a trip,” said Jana L. Tidwell, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “After a brutally long winter, locals are ready to pack up the car to enjoy sun and sand to start the summer travel season.”


2018 Philadelphia-Area Memorial Day Travel Trends


  • 2018 will mark the fourth consecutive year for Memorial Day travel growth.

  • More than 480,000 Philadelphia-area residents will travel (50 miles or more) over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, representing a 4.7 percent increase over last year (fourth straight year of growth).

  • Road Trips Rule: Nearly 433,000 Philadelphia-area residents – or 90 percent of local holiday travelers – plan to drive to their destination. This is a 4.7 percent increase over last year (fifth straight year of growth).

  • Air Travel Climbs Considerably: Almost 33,000 Philly travelers plan to fly to their Memorial Day destination, representing a 6.2 percent increase from last year.

  • Motorists will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2014.

  • Busiest travel days/times will be Thursday and Friday (May 24 and 25), as afternoon commuters mix with holiday travelers.


2018 Projected Memorial Day Holiday Travelers

Philadelphia (5-county) Area





Total Population


2018 Travelers

Percent of
population traveling

Percent change vs. 2017

Philadelphia (5-county) TOTAL (auto, air & other)






(5-county) Auto

90% of people travel by car





(5-county) Air

7% of people travel by air










auto, air & other







90% of people travel by car






7% of people travel by air









National TOTAL

328.1 million*

41.4 million



National Auto


88% of people travel by car

36.6 million



National Air


8% of people travel by air

3.1 million



*U.S. Census Bureau/IHS Global Insight (v2017)


Nationwide, AAA projects 41.4 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 4.8 percent increase last year and the highest travel volume since 2005. Kicking off the summer driving season, 36.6 million travelers will be driving to their holiday weekend destination.


Higher Gas Prices Not Deterring Travelers

The 90 percent of Philadelphia-area residents who will travel by car will not be deterred by the recent increase in prices at the pump.


“Despite paying the most expensive Memorial Day gas prices since 2014, holiday weekend road trips are expected to increase for the fourth straight year,” said Tidwell. “The 2018 summer driving season, which begins with Memorial Day weekend, could see the average family paying $1,318 for gasoline, $225 to $250 more than 2017.”


Historical Memorial Day Gas Prices
























New Jersey







South Jersey






















AAA to the Rescue

Last Memorial Day weekend (May 25-30, 2017), AAA helped more than 32,000 stranded motorists in the Mid-Atlantic territory, with 6,777 of those in the Philadelphia 5-county area alone. The most common calls for service were tows, battery and tire issues.


Road Trip Ready

While some maintenance and repair tasks are best left to certified automotive technicians, there are several basic items motorists can easily check themselves between trips to their auto repair facility, including the following:


Windshield Wiper Blades – If wiper blades are worn, cracked or rigid with age, they will not adequately remove rain, grime and other debris that can obscure driver vision. If the wiper blades are sufficiently deteriorated, the metal wiper blade frame could contact and permanently damage the windshield.


Tire Pressure – Check and adjust tire pressure, including the spare. Always inflate tires to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended settings—not the maximum pressure molded on the side of the tire.


Tire Tread – Check the tread depth by inserting a quarter upside down into a tire groove with Washington’s head facing outward. The tread should cover part of Washington’s head. If any of the area above Washington’s head is visible, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.


Battery – Have your battery checked, especially if it is over three years old. Summer heat breaks down the battery internally and accelerates the rate of corrosion on vehicle’s battery terminals.


Travel Planning Resources

AAA recommends motorists have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as a local AAA Car Care Center or one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.


AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2018 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast is available here.


Follow us on Twitter: @AAAPhillyNews

Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit

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