Memorial Day weekend is approaching, which can only mean one thing: The countdown to summer is on. According to AAA’s first travel forecast of the summer, 3,078,000 million Americans in the West North Central Region of the U.S., that includes Kansas, are projected to travel over Memorial Day, representing an increase of almost .4 percent – or 12,000 more travelers – compared to last year. Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas are also part of the West North Central Region.
“Several key factors are driving the expectation for more holiday travelers this year,” said Jim Hanni, Kansas spokesman for AAA. “As the economy continues to improve, disposable income, consumer confidence and the employment outlook are trending up. Plus, total costs to operate a vehicle are down compared to last year. This is welcomed news for the travel industry.”
Auto Travel Counselors in Wichita’s two AAA offices indicate the top five destinations by car so far that AAA members are planning this summer include Branson, Orlando, Yellowstone, Kansas City and Dallas.
In the Northeast Kansas AAA offices of Topeka, Manhattan and Lawrence, auto travel counselors report their top five summer auto destinations also include Branson, Yellowstone and Orlando, but have Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon as top destinations. Travel agents in all Kansas offices report their top five destinations for AAA vacations this summer include Caribbean and European river cruises, Hawaii, Disneyworld and Alaska land and cruise trips.