After a long, cold winter and a wet, chilly spring, many Iowans are eagerly making plans for the first getaway of the summer season. Gail Weinholzer, at Triple-A-Iowa, says the motor club is forecasting an upturn in the number of Memorial Day travelers nationwide, compared to last year. She says almost nine out of ten vacationers will be on the road. “We expect an increase in personal automobiles as well as air travel,” Weinholzer says. “Eighty-eight percent of all travelers or about 31.8-million Americans will travel by personal automobile. In addition, air travel’s expected to increase 2.4% to about 2.6-million leisure travelers.”
With so many travelers driving over the upcoming holiday weekend, Weinholzer says they’ll be pleased to discover gasoline prices are down from last year. “In Iowa today, the average is $3.46,” Weinholzer says. “Not only is that 19-cents lower than the national average, which is $3.65, but it’s also 30-cents lower than a year ago on this date when Iowans were paying an average of $3.76.”
On the flip side, she says travelers this Memorial Day weekend will encounter slightly higher prices with airfares six-percent higher than last year, mid-range hotels are up two-percent and car rentals cost one-percent more.