Small uptick expected in Philadelphians traveling for Memorial Day

Slightly more Philadelphia-area residents will be hitting the road this year for Memorial Day weekend.

AAA said today that it estimates nearly 419,000 people in Philadelphia and the city's Pennsylvania suburbs will travel over the long weekend.

That's a 0.6-percent increase from the number who made trips last year, according to AAA. The auto group noted that the uptick is small, but the expected number of travelers this year is the highest since the recession.

AAA said the harsh winter and improving economy could be spurring more Philadelphians to make holiday-weekend travel plans.

Most -- 89 percent of travelers, or nearly 374,000 people -- will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, AAA said.

But the more than 28,000 travelers planning to fly to their vacation spots represents a 2.4-percent increase from last year.

Nationwide, 36.1 million people are expected to travel for the holiday, 1.5 percent more than in 2013.

AAA says Philadelphia-area travelers are likely to encounter higher gas and airfare prices than last year. However, rental car rates and mid-range hotel prices in the region are down.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or Follow @phillynews on Twitter.