Sacramento, CA – Travel industry officials are predicting this Memorial Day Weekend will be the busiest on Northern California roads since 2005.
According to AAA spokesperson Mike Blasky, “Californians seem to be really excited to get away this Memorial Day. We are projecting a 12-year high for travel in California, and of the 4.8 or so million that we expect to traveling this weekend 4 million will be driving, so a majority will be taking to the roads this year.” According to AAA, the figures are up well over three percent from last year and close to the 2005 benchmark of 5 million travelers for the holiday. For the past six years straight now travel activities for this particular weekend, considered by many to be the unofficial start to summer vacations, have been on the rise.
This year about a half-million air travelers over the weekend will constitute a six percent surge in decisions to take to the skies — even though AAA estimates that fares, up about nine percent, carry a roundtrip ticket average of about $181. AAA Three-Diamond rated hotel rates are 18 percent higher than over last Memorial Day weekend; the average cost is running about $215/night.
Road Readiness, ‘Tipsy Tow’ Service
Blasky cautions travelers planning to drive to make sure their vehicles are road-ready. Over this weekend alone AAA expects it will nationally rescue more than 300,000 motorists. The organization takes millions of distress calls each summer, mainly due to common causes like lockouts, flat tires and dead batteries.
Gas prices, already going up, will continue to go higher later this year as Blasky points out that Governor Jerry Brown will be signing the state’s gas tax increase. Currently in the Mother Lode, prices for a gallon of unleaded regular gas is ranging from $2.81 to $3.19 in Sonora; $3.04 to $3.29 in San Andreas (the latest prices are reported here).
Come Monday, Memorial Day, Blasky says that AAA will be running its Tipsy Tow Service from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning. “If you are out and had too much to drink…call AAA and we will pull your car home. Our priority is safety and trying to get people home safely so they can enjoy next Memorial Day.” The first ten miles of tow service are free after which the mileage is subject to standard rates. When calling the number, 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357), callers should specifically state that they need a “Tipsy Tow,” and then provide the driver’s name, home address, phone number and vehicle/driver location.