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More than 780,000 Arizonans expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — More than 787,000 Arizonans are expected to travel over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the highest such amount in 12 years, Triple-A of Arizona said.

The agency is expecting the roads to be much busier than the skies when 787,000 Arizona residents look to head out of town for the first long weekend of summer.

“Both auto and air travel are expected to increase over last year,” Triple-A of Arizona spokeswoman Michelle Donati said. “More than 690,000 Arizonans will drive to their destinations and more than 67,000 will fly.”

Donati said this year’s travel numbers indicate about 20,000 more Arizonans are planning to go on vacation this year when compared to last.

“Which is an increase of about 3 percent from last year,” she said. “This marks the third consecutive year of state and nationwide growth in Memorial Day travel.”

The increase comes as gas prices sit 13 cents higher — the average gallon costs $2.29 — and hotel rates are up 18 percent from one year ago.

In a joint study, coupon website and hotel booking site Hotwire said the most popular Memorial Day destination for Arizonans is California.

The second-most popular is somewhere other than home in Arizona — does anyone want to guess how busy Interstate 17 will be?

The third-most popular destination is Nevada.

KTAR’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

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