The organization forecasts that 873,500 area residents will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend, down nearly 2 percent from 890,600 last year.
Of those traveling, 795,000 (91 percent) will travel by car and 58,500 (6.6 percent) will travel by plane, AAA said. The air travel forecast is 10 percent below the 65,106 residents who traveled by air around this time last year.
The association blamed the drop in travel on the federal government sequester.
“Call it the ‘sequester siesta’ or ‘sequestration frustration’ and it is pulling down government spending across the national capital area,” AAA said in a press release. “Although they traveled at this time last year, many would-be travelers say they are cutting back on their vacation and sunny day travel plans for the time being. The sequester is lasting longer than first expected, and now most local workers are assuming the across-the-board federal spending cuts will continue throughout the summer months, the busiest travel season of the year, and it appears they are adopting a wait-and-see attitude.”
Of those traveling this weekend, almost two thirds are visiting family or friends. AAA says a third of all local travelers are going to a waterfront destination like the Maryland or Delaware shore.
So are you taking a “sequester siesta,” as AAA calls it, or are you planning to travel out of town this Memorial Day weekend?