Updated April 27 at 9:27am

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Memorial Day travel to drop slightly, says AAA

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PROVIDENCE – AAA Southern New England projects a 0.9 percent decrease in Memorial Day travel. The trade group estimates that 34.8 million U.S. residents will travel 50 miles or more from their home during the Memorial Day holiday period between Thursday, May 23, and Monday, May 27.

This number is a decline of roughly 300,000 travelers from 2012 numbers, according to the trade group’s yearly report.

The slight decline is the first seen in holiday travel in more than a year, with Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Christmas holiday travel all increasing year over year in 2012.

Still, Memorial Day travel volume will remain above the 12-year historical average of 34.7 million, said AAA.

“AAA is forecasting Memorial Day travel to experience a slight dip as lower gas prices and economic improvements from last year are not strong enough to spur an increase in travelers,” Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Southern New England senior vice president of public and government affairs, said in a statement. “Still, the projections are in line with what we’ve seen in travel over Memorial Day since 2010.”

According to a survey of traveler intentions, roughly 31.2 million, or 8 percent of holiday travelers, will make their Memorial Day journey by automobile, a rise of 0.3 percent from those who traveled by car in 2012. Roughly 2.3 million travelers will take a trip by air, an 8 percent decrease from 2012.

Travel from New England is on par with the national forecast and expected to decline 0.7 percent from 2012.

Of the 10.7 percent of New Englanders who plan to travel during the holiday, those planning to travel by car will rise 0.1 percent as air travel from New England falls 8.1 percent.

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