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The popularity of the word “staycation” is directly proportional to the price of petroleum. Gas prices go up, and suddenly every other travel publication is touting the virtue of the glorious staycation — a vacation that takes place close to one’s home (thus saving travelers from budget-busting prices at the pump).

Although the current high gas prices are expected to come down in coming months, rates remain at about $4 per gallon; this doesn’t bode well for Memorial Weekend travelers who aren’t interested in staycationing at the local pool or the nearest state park.

Yet today, AAA reported that despite costly gas prices, travelers are kicking the staycation in the shins and hitting the road. Says Robert Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA, “There’s going to be a slight increase in travel over the holiday weekend. I guess the bottom line is that paying at the pump will not keep us at home during the holiday.” See for yourself:

AAA predicts that more people will travel this Memorial Weekend than last year, even though gas prices are significantly higher than they were one year ago. The organization forecasts that 34.9 million people will be traveling over the Memorial Day weekend. This is, naturally, good news for hotels, airlines and the whole of the travel industry. But travelers driving to their destinations should be prepared to face traffic, and crowded beaches and full flights should be expected come the holiday weekend. Leave early, and be sure to pack plenty of patience.

Are you planning a weekend trip for Memorial Day? Take our poll.

— written by Caroline Costello

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