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AAA: Many Virginians expected to travel for Memorial Day Weekend

Published: May. 24, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Plenty of people are planning on hitting the road or the skies for Memorial Day Weekend, according to AAA.

For those packing bags and heading to the airport know that the TSA is still requiring masks for the duration of your travel. For anyone packing up the car, know gas prices are up.

”It’s up 24 cents in the last month,” AAA Spokesperson Morgan Dean said.

Gas price average in Virginia currently sits at $2.94 while the national average is $3.03. While much of that is due to the recent Colonial Pipeline shut down there is also increasing demand.

“Even before the pipeline happened we were warning drivers that there were going to be price spikes solely because the demand for people heading out for their summer trips and to take advantage of the long weekend,” Dean said.

AAA expects a record number of Virginians to travel this coming weekend with a return to 88% of those who traveled pre-pandemic.

Another AAA survey says COVID-19 concerns are not the main reason why some Virginians will be staying home. Instead, it could be due to traffic.

“It’s called competition on the road and I just avoid it. You find too many people on the road, and it’s just too dangerous,” Alan Caldwell said.

Aside from traveling, some plan to participate in activities that honor our nation’s veterans.

“On the Sunday there’s a memorial event in town. We’ve got a veteran’s memorial and the Fluvanna County VFW chapter has a wreath laying and memorial service,” Matt Lawless said.

For those heading to the airport, Stewart Key with the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport says plan ahead: It is seeing about 1,400 people per day, which is significantly higher than last year.

“Make sure you’re checking your flights. You can go to our website gocho.com to make sure your flights are on time. We still recommend coming about 90 minutes early because we are picking up in traffic,” Key said.

While you will still want to bring the hand sanitizer and need to bring the mask, the airport is also working to keep you safe.

“We have a team that comes in after every flight and cleans all the areas and just making sure that all of our passengers are as safe as possible,” Key said.

Dean with AAA says there may be a decline in gas prices after the weekend with demand going down until the school year officially wraps for summer.

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