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Record number of travelers to hit Florida roads, airports for Memorial Day travel

CBS News Live
CBS News Miami Live

TALLAHASSEE - A record number of travelers are expected to hit Florida roads and crowd airports during the Memorial Day holiday period.

The AAA auto club has forecast that 2.5 million Floridians will travel more than 50 miles during the period. AAA estimates a five percent increase from 2023 in Floridians traveling by car and a nine percent increase in air travel.

Orlando, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale are among the top U.S. destinations around the May 27 holiday. Other top destinations include Seattle, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Boston and Anchorage, Alaska.

"Memorial Day will be the start to a very busy summer of travel," AAA Vice President of Travel Debbie Haas said in a statement, adding that interest in traveling after the COVID-19 pandemic could make this year the busiest Memorial Day weekend in nearly two decades. 

Nationally, 43.8 million people are expected to travel for the holiday, up five percent from the Memorial Day period in 2023. As refineries finish maintenance and ramp up output, increased travel shouldn't reverse a downward trend in gas prices, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

"While gas prices stand slightly above where they were last year, I expect most Americans will see prices fall before the holiday weekend, and I'm optimistic the trend could extend into June and beyond," De Haan said.

The average price of regular unleaded gas in Florida on Wednesday was $3.50, down four cents from a week earlier and one cent from a month earlier, according to AAA.

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