DES MOINES — With the Memorial Day weekend just ahead, it’s predicted travelers from Iowa will be on the roads in record or near-record numbers.

Brian Ortner, with AAA Iowa, says the motor club is forecasting more than 3.6-million people across the Midwest will be traveling 50 miles or more during the long weekend, which is up 136,000 travelers from last year.

“We’re going to see the second-highest level of Memorial Day holiday travel since AAA began tracking those numbers in 2000,” Ortner says. “So we go back to 2005 to see numbers this high. The great thing is, since the pandemic, numbers every year for travel have been going up.”

The vast majority of vacationers will be traveling by car, and Ortner says gasoline prices in Iowa are more than a dime a gallon cheaper than a year ago.

“Iowa gas prices averaged about $3.38 per gallon last year during the Memorial holiday weekend,” Ortner says. “Today, the gas price average across the state is $3.24, so we’re less than we were last year.”

For families on a budget, vacations can be expensive ventures, with gasoline being one of the biggest costs, so Ortner says this is welcome news.

“Hopefully, drivers can be confident to know that they’re going to see similar numbers to what they saw last year,” Ortner says. “They shouldn’t face too many surprises.”

For Iowans traveling by air, AAA says the average price for a round-trip domestic flight will cost $778, which is up two-percent from Memorial Day weekend last year.

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