Number of Memorial Day travelers nearly highest in years

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Friday, May 23, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- There definitely were a lot of people on their way to the beach or the lake this weekend -- and for many it was the first time they've gone away this holiday weekend in years.

AAA estimates 36.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during this holiday weekend. That translates to more than 450,000 people from South Carolina and more than 900,000 Georgians will be on the roads. These numbers are the highest they've been since the recession hit.

AAA also says the price of hotels, rental cars, and transportation has gone up this year. The good news for drivers is that the gas prices around the country are just a little higher above where it was last year this time at just about $3.65 a gallon.

Most people we talked to said it's not the cost of going out of town, but the people driving next to them that they're concerned about. Dianne Richart is traveling from Atlanta to South Carolina this weekend, she said, "We were just talking about how hopefully we would miss most of it with people leaving in the middle of the day so hopefully we'll get off the interstate before they all get on it."

While this weekend is not as crowded on the roads as Thanksgiving and Christmas time, Memorial Day is still one of the busiest travel weekends of the entire year.

The advice here, if you do get stuck in some traffic, turn up your car's air conditioning because it is hot outside.

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