Arizonans Set to ‘Drive’ into Summer, Says AAA

More than 700,000 Arizonans expected to travel this Memorial Day

Phoenix, May 20, 2013. The first three-day weekend of the summer has arrived, and according to AAA, Arizonans will be “driving” their way into summer. The Memorial Day holiday commemorates those who have died in service to our country, while also serving as the unofficial kickoff of the summer season.

According to AAA’s first travel forecast of the summer, more than 701,000 Arizonans are projected to travel over Memorial Day, representing a drop of 0.4 percent from last year.

“Memorial Day travel is a mixed bag this year,” said Amy Moreno, director of travel services for AAA Travel, the largest leisure travel agency in North America. “A decline in air travel has pulled overall travel down below year-ago levels, but auto travel remains strong and is up slightly. This is consistent with AAA booking trends for the year.”

Four trends from AAA’s 2013 Memorial Day forecast among Arizonans include:

  1. Road trips rule
    More than 618,000 Arizonans — or 88 percent of holiday travelers — plan to drive to their destination, representing an increase of 0.4 percent from last year. Despite the recent uptick in pump prices, Arizonans will pay $3.437 per gallon to fill up before heading out of town this Memorial Day, compared to $3.778 last year.


  2. Air travel takes a dip
    More than 57,000 Arizonans plan to fly to their Memorial Day destination. This represents a decrease of 6.3 percent from last year. AAA attributes this decline to travelers who are deterred by airfare prices. For many travelers’ budgets, road trips make more sense this summer, according to AAA travel experts.


  3. Trip distance highlights popular drive destinations
    The average roundtrip distance traveled by Arizonans is expected to be a little more than 800 miles. However, nearly 50 percent of Arizonans will travel 700 miles or fewer, which encompasses trips to many popular drivable summer destinations including Flagstaff, Rocky Point, Las Vegas and San Diego.


  4. Food and beverage, transportation consumes bulk of holiday budget
    Median spending this Memorial Day is $730. Of this, 30 percent will go to food and beverage while 20 percent will go to fuel transportation. The remaining half of expenditures will be divided among accommodations (14 percent), entertainment (13 percent), shopping (10 percent), other transportation (7 percent) and miscellaneous costs.

AAA offers a variety of mobile travel resources including AAA Mobile, a free app for Smartphone users. The app uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby discounts, summon roadside assistance, find current gas prices and more. Travelers can learn more about this resource at

Research for Memorial Day travel projections are derived from IHS Global Insight, which conducts special research for AAA. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as trips that include travel of 50 miles or more during the five day period from Thursday, May 23 to Monday, May 27. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.

AAA is a full-service travel agency. For more information, visit

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.