More Americans will hit the road this holiday weekend than a year ago. And they'll have a bit more money to spend thanks to lower gas prices.
Memorial Day kicks off the summer travel season, and since pump prices never reached $4 or $5 a gallon ($1.05 to $1.32 a liter), as feared, economists says travelers are likely to dine out or shop more once they pull off the road, reported the Christian Science Monitor.
About 30.7 million Americans will drive more than 50 miles for Memorial Day trips, according to auto club AAA, that has an office in Framingham. That's 400,000 more than last year, a jump AAA attributes to improvement in the economy and consumer attitudes. The number of holiday travelers grows to 34.8 million when you include planes, trains and other means of transportation.
Restaurants, movie theaters and retailers hope some of that savings goes to them.
Locally, Shop & Explore MetroWest kicks off its campaign today. More than 100 retailers, restaurants, cultural institutions and recreational areas in 19 communities throughout the MetroWest region of Massachusetts will be holding scores of promotions and special events for visitors and local residents alike from today, May 26 to June 3 during a new, region-wide program, “Shop & Explore MetroWest,” launched by the MetroWest Tourism & Visitors Bureau.