High gas prices notwithstanding, Marylanders expected to travel in droves for Memorial Day weekend

Traffic at the Bay Bridge toll booths at the early start of the Memorial Day weekend last year.

Despite gas prices averaging 61 cents higher than last Memorial Day, nearly 890,000 Marylanders are expected to travel for the holiday weekend, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The projection represents a 4.7 percent increase from last year and the most since the auto club began tracking holiday travel in 2001.


“More Marylanders than ever will be getting away for the holiday weekend and this year, they will be taking to the roads and the skies in record numbers to get to their destination,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, a AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman.

Nearly 90 percent of those traveling will drive, regardless of the cost of gas, Averella said. It’s typically the most popular means of transportation for any holiday weekend, especially the first big beach weekend of the summer.


After a few years of regular gas prices’ averaging below $2.50 a gallon, higher prices are back this year and continuing to rise, driven by a global oil supply shortage and geopolitical tensions.

A gallon of regular, unleaded gas cost $2.94 in Maryland as of Tuesday, six cents more than last week and 22 cents more than last month, according to AAA. The state average hasn’t hit $3 per gallon yet, won’t be close to the Memorial Day record of $3.66 in 2014, the auto club said.

AAA projected 8 percent of travelers will fly to their destinations, and about 3 percent will take other modes of transportation. Lower airfares are expected to increase air travel by about 7.4 percent, surpassing 70,000 passengers on Memorial Day for the first time in AAA’s two decades of projections.

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said the beach town is preparing for the summer kickoff.

“We have lots of fun in store in Ocean City this year, including an exciting lineup of events and features,” he said. “All we ask is that everyone walk smart, drive smart and bike smart while you visit us.”