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35 million will travel for Memorial Day

HEATHROW, Fla., May 20 (UPI) -- The high cost of gasoline will affect the number of Memorial Day weekend travelers but millions will still drive and pay the price, the AAA said.

A national survey released Thursday said the number of people traveling 50 miles or more on Memorial Day, the holiday that typically kicks off summer travel, is projected to slip by 100,000 from a year ago to 34.9 million.

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Nearly 31 million will drive to their destination even though gas costs $1.06 more per gallon than it did a year ago, the survey indicates. The rest will take other transportation, including planes, trains and buses.

Air travel is expected to be up.

The cost of air travel has remained relatively steady over the past decade but officials are concerned about the increase in the cost of jet fuel.

"Even as demand for air travel continues to improve, high and volatile energy prices could hamper recovery efforts," said Nicholas E. Calio, president of the Air Transport Association of America. "It is encouraging that more people will be flying this summer despite higher energy prices taxing the entire economy."

The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday through Monday, May 26-30.

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