The auto group said in a press release last Friday that 34.7 million people traveled more than 50 miles during the holiday weekend in 2007, but only an estimated 34.38 million will make similar journeys in various forms of transportation this year.
AAA President Robert L. Darbelnet said the predicted decrease of nearly 320,000 travelers is due to a variety of factors including high gas prices and the current economy.
"More travelers concerned about the economy, gasoline prices and rising airfares are opting to travel by train, bus, motorcycle and cruise ship to their holiday weekend destinations," Darbelnet said. "This trend points to a desire on the part of the American public to seek alternatives to flying and driving to enjoy the traditional end of summer vacation."
The predicted number of people choosing to travel by car during the weekend is also expected to fall. AAA predicts 28.64 million people nationwide will travel by automobile during the three-day weekend, a drop from the 28.97 million who drove to vacation destinations during the same time period in 2007.