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John Townsend
Public Relations Manager, DC
O: (202) 481-6820 (ext. 4462108)
C: (202) 253-2171

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.”



Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)



Week Ago

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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.


  • Americans should heed all official warnings and refer to the latest updates from the CDC and U.S. Department of State to help decrease the spread of COVID-19.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that Americans stay home and avoid nonessential travel.

  • Anecdotal reports suggest fewer people will hit the road compared to years past for what is considered the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

  • Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend – the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000.

  • With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.

  • Memorial Day 2009 (toward the end of the Great Recession) currently holds the record for the lowest travel volume at nearly 31 million travelers, according to AAA.

  • Tuesday’s national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $1.88. The last time the national gas price average leading into the holiday was under $2/gallon was in 2003.


Historical Memorial Day Gas Prices








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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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Washington, D.C. Mailing Address:
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly 82,000 members in the District of Columbia.  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

TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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