Memorial Day Staycations Popular Choice for Bay Area

Cheaper gas not swaying drivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Mikol / Flickr
    Why leave the Bay Area on such a perfect weekend?

    It won't cost as much to fill 'er up for a road trip this year but more and more Bay Area people are opting to take a "staycation" this long holiday weekend.

    Fewer local drivers are expected to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend even though gas prices in the Bay Area and statewide are more than a $1.30 cheaper than they were last May, according to AAA.

    The automobile association is expecting the number of drivers statewide to decrease by 2.1 percent. Last year at this time, San Francisco drivers paid $4.07 on average for a gallon of gas and now they are paying about $2.70. California's average gallon was $4 and now it's $2.62.

    Budman Staycation

    [BAY] Budman Staycation
    NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman shows some of the places people will go to this holiday weekend instead of going out of town.

    "The gas prices this summer should be pretty stable. It might go up a couple of cents but should not go up much," AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said.

    The decrease in travel does not reflect nationwide trends.

    Nationally, AAA expects the number of travelers to increase by 1.5 percent. Gas nationally last May was $3.83 a gallon on average and is now $2.62.

    AAA typically uses this holiday weekend as a prediction of how the summer will be, indicating that statewide this summer in general might be milder travel-wise, Harris said.

    Travelers are not just cutting the amount of money they spend on the roadways.

    Bay Area airports also kicked off the summer traveling season this week with less passengers than last year.

    San Francisco International Airport spokesman Mike McCarron said at the kickoff on Wednesday that air travel was down by 3 percent because of the economic crisis and cutbacks from airways.