NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A record number of Americans are traveling this weekend for the Memorial Day holiday.
About 35 million Americans were set to hit the roads this year, a five percent increase over last year despite higher gas prices.
“That’s the biggest year since 2005,” said CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg. “A lot of that’s due to the fact hat even though gas prices are up, they haven’t spiked.”
The average price of gas has gone up about a penny over the last few weeks with New York City leading the pack at $3.19 a gallon. Connecticut comes in at $3.13 a gallon with New Jersey just over $3 a gallon.
But experts say you can save gas if you slow down.
“For every five miles an hour you’re over 50 miles per hour, the car uses more gas trying to fight the extra wind resistance,” said Robert Sinclair with AAA. “Every five over 50 is like adding 18 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas, according to the Department of Energy.”
If you want to avoid traffic, experts say to stay off the roads between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday or wait to leave early Saturday morning instead.
“We’re anticipating that a trip that would normally take an hour might take as many as three hours,” said Sinclair.
If you’d rather skip the streets and break free of your road trip, you may be like the 3.1 million other Americans this year taking to the skies to a foreign destination.
“The real interesting departure is it’s not that they’re flying within the United States. They are flying overseas and doing four or five-day mini vacations because the airfares overseas are so low,” said Greenburg.
Experts say travelers should try to avoid coming back from the holiday after 6 p.m. Monday.
For more information about traffic and transit in our area, click here.