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Memorial Day travel weekend expected to be busy amid high airfare, gas prices

An estimated 2.2 million Floridians will hit the road or take to the skies this Memorial Day weekend.

TAMPA, Fla. — Despite ongoing record-setting gas prices and an increase in the cost of airfare, some 2.2 million Floridians are expected to travel this holiday weekend — the unofficial start to summer.

"We're looking at increases across the board," said Mark Jenkins with AAA. "So a 5% increase in auto travelers, a 28% increase in air travelers, and get this — a 189% increase in other modes of transportation, which includes buses trains and cruises."

So how will travel impact your wallet this year?  

AAA found that the average lowest airfare is 6% more than last year at about $184 a ticket and hotel prices are up 42%.

Drivers hitting the road will likely deal with even more pain at the pump, with a new statewide average hitting $4.57 a gallon on Wednesday — the highest recorded average price yet, according to the latest AAA survey. That's an increase of about 7 cents from a week ago and nearly a $1.70 increase from the holiday weekend last year.

Despite higher travel costs, travel confidence is high among Floridians, according to a survey by AAA. 

"I think what we're seeing is an abundance of confidence in travelers. We found that travelers are more confident traveling now than during any other time in the pandemic," Jenkins said. 

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