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More than 2 million Floridians expected to travel for Memorial Day, despite record gas prices

Citing INRIX, a company that analyzes traffic patterns, AAA says drivers will encounter the longest travel delays during the afternoons on Thursday and Friday.
Citing INRIX, a company that analyzes traffic patterns, AAA says drivers will encounter the longest travel delays during the afternoons on Thursday and Friday.

Gas prices in Florida are at a record $4.58 a gallon. But AAA predicts Memorial Day weekend travel will still approach pre-pandemic levels.

A survey from the American Hotel and Lodging Association says pricey gas could affect summer travel plans for 82% of Americans. A third may even cancel their plans.

But AAA isn’t seeing that yet in Florida. Spokesman Mark Jenkins says the auto club predicts nearly 2.2 million Floridians will travel this weekend. Ninety percent of those will be on the highways.

“For this Memorial Day weekend,” he said, “AAA is forecasting a pretty strong resurgence in travel this year. I mean, you consider the fact that we’re coming out of a two-year-long pandemic. People are eager to travel. They’re eager to reconnect with their friends and family, and this is the kick-off to the summer travel season.”

His advice to travelers? Leave early and allow extra time.

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Joe Byrnes