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'Likely To Set A Record Low': AAA Cancels Memorial Day Travel Forecast For First Time In 20 Years

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The days before Memorial Day usually bring a prediction of how many Southern Californians will hit the road or fly for the unofficial start of summer.

But as with everything else this year, AAA's Memorial Day forecast was canceled for the first time in 20 years because of the COVID-19 crisis.

"The accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast has been undermined by COVID-19," AAA spokesman Jim Stratton said in a statement. "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."

AAA says 43 million American traveled for the Memorial Day weekend, the second-highest travel volume on record for that weekend.

"With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend's travel volume is likely to set a record low," Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in the statement.

However, the urge to travel remains high, and AAA says its online bookings have been on a modest rise since mid-April. When travel is deemed safe again, AAA expects people will stick to U.S. destinations, mostly local and regional locations, and a possible comeback for the great American road trip.

If anyone does plan to hit the road this weekend, they'll save big at the gas pump — the last time average gas prices hovered around $2 a gallon was 17 years ago in 2003.

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