COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — About 1.34 million Ohioans are expected travel at least 50 miles from home over the long Memorial Day weekend, the most since before the onset of the recession, according to the AAA Ohio Auto Club.
The travel volume — which would be about 0.6 percent higher than the Memorial Day weekend a year ago in the state — is due to an improved economy and more people wanting to get out of town after the long, cold winter, AAA said. For travel purposes, the holiday weekend is considered to be Thursday through Monday.
About 90 percent of Ohioans traveling, or about 1.2 million, are expected to drive to their destinations. Gas prices aren’t expected to be a factor because they’re in line with last year. About 73,000 Ohioans are expected to travel by air during the weekend. Another 62,000 or so are expected to travel by other means, including cruises, trains and buses.
“As the economy continues to improve at a slow and steady pace, consumer spending, disposable income, consumer confidence and the employment outlook are trending up, which is welcome news for the travel industry,” AAA chief operating officer said Marshall L. Doney said in a statement.
AAA expects 36.1 Americans to travel during the holiday period, an increase of 1.5 percent from 2013. That would be the most since 2005 when 44 million people traveled over the Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day typically kicks off the summer travel season. AAA said popular travel destinations for Ohioans include Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head in South Carolina; Orlando, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee.