26 May 2010, 8:22pm

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The ups and downs of traveling this Memorial Day weekend


The travel outlook for Memorial Day weekend looks about as wobbly as recent stock market swings.

More Americans will be making trips this year, a “sizeable increase” of 5.5 percent from last year and the first gain in five years, according to AAA. But average spending is expected to drop to $809, a “sizeable reduction” from last year’s $1,052.
The Great Recession has been taking a breather, with consumer sentiment, household worth and GDP up from a year ago, the same report says. But jobs have lagged, leaving unemployment 3 percent higher.

The coaster ride doesn’t end there. Travelers face varying price swings this holiday.  

Airfare tickets will stay about the same as last year but car rental rates will drop 15 percent and hotel rates will dip slightly, AAA reports.

Gasoline, meanwhile, is selling for 35 to 40 cents a gallon higher than a year ago. In Texas, regular unleaded now averages $2.68, up 37 cents.

Of the 32.1 million people making trips this holiday, 87 percent will go by car.



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