AAA: Gas prices not deterring Memorial Day plans, about 37 million expected to travel

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 4:14 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - AAA (Triple-A) anticipates about 37 million people traveling for Memorial Day Weekend.

“So about a 60 percent increase from what we saw last year when we were in the middle of COVID restrictions and lockdowns,” said AAA Kansas spokesman Shawn Steward. “So, a significant number of more people will be traveling, and 90 percent of those travelers will be driving to their destination, so we anticipate a very busy holiday weekend on the highways.”

Steward said higher gas prices are not expected to deter many from plans to get away.

“There’s so much pent-up demand, people are really wanting to just get away from home, maybe for the first time since more than a year ago,” he said. “So, gas prices aren’t going to keep people home, from what we’re seeing.”

Denis Long is among those in the Wichita area planning a road trip for the unofficial start to summer, planning to spend the weekend with friends in Springfield, Mo.

“We didn’t really think about gas prices or anything, we just wanted to make sure that it was safe to go there,” Long said. “We’re ready to get out and about and go back to traveling again.”

For those opting to stay close to home, campsites are expected to be full. Those getting out of town, but not going too far, headed for destinations like Kansas City or Oklahoma City, could expect to spend $55 to $60 in gas, roundtrip.

Dan Barber, planning to spend time fishing at area lakes said on Friday that he saw campers beginning to fill up the site. While celebrating the three-day weekend, Barber said it’s important to remember the reason for the holiday.

“We have a lot of military people in our family, so it’s super important o honor those that we have lost on the weekend and not forget we’re out here.”

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