The number of Ohioans expected to travel during the Memorial Day weekend is expected to slightly dip this year, according to AAA estimates.
About 1.31 million state residents are expected to travel 50 miles from their homes this weekend marking a 1.4 percent decrease from last year.
The motorist and leisure travel organization estimates 31.2 million Americans will travel Thursday and Monday which is a small increase over last year, but a 16 percent drop compared to 37.3 million travelers during the holiday weekend in 2005.
AAA pointed to a slow economic recovery and sequestration as reasons for the decrease in travelers.
Most Ohio travelers, 1.2 million, will drive to their destinations while only 64,000 reported they had plans to travel by air — a 7.8 percent decrease over last year, according to AAA.
Across the county more than 2.3 million travelers are expected to fly to their destinations this year marking a 8 percent decrease compared to the previous year.
“American travelers are experiencing fee fatigue and frustration with everything from higher fares to airport security. As a result, many are choosing road travel,” Robert Darbelnet, CEO of AAA, said in a statement.
In a AAA survey of people who intend to travel during the holiday weekend, 38 percent said gas prices will influence their plans.
Ohio drivers could see lower gas prices over the holiday weekend, according to Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com. An issue with refineries in Oklahoma, Kansas and Indiana that led to increased prices has been corrected he said. A one cent decrease within 24 hours indicate Ohio gas prices are declining and could continue into the weekend.
“We could continue to see these prices moderate,” Laskoski said. “It’s not automatic that prices are going to increase simply because it’s Memorial Day weekend. “It’s very possible we will see prices flatten in Ohio.”
Ohioans top 10 Memorial Day weekend driving destinations
1. Myrtle Beach, SC
2. Hilton Head, SC
3. Orlando, FL
4. Gatlinburg, TN
5. Virginia Beach, VA
6. Niagara Falls, ON
7. Chicago, IL
8. Nashville, TN
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Charleston, SC