More than 38 million Memorial Day travelers expected nationwide; WSDOT warns of 'ferry frenzy'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The lowest gas prices in more than a decade could make this Memorial Day one of the busiest ever on the roads.

AAA projects some 38 million people will travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend. That's about 700,000 more than last year and the most since 2005. And the auto club says the overwhelming majority of those travelers — 89 percent — plan to go by car.

The average price for a gallon of regular is a $2.30 nationwide, about 34 cents less than a year ago, and AAA estimates that Americans have saved more than $15 billion on gas so far this year.

AAA also cites rising personal income and a strong labor market as factors encouraging Americans to head to the beaches, mountains and other destinations this Memorial Day weekend.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said that more than 435,000 travelers and tourists are expected to hop aboard a ferry during the Memorial Day weekend.

“Nowhere else in the world has a ferry fleet and the beautiful inland waters and great scenery of Puget Sound. I encourage you to travel on one of your ferries this holiday weekend,” said Washington State Ferries Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith.

Click here to go the Washington State Ferries webpage.

WSF advises that you know before you go:

-- If possible, walk on to reduce or eliminate wait times. Passenger capacity is far greater than vehicle capacity on all of WSF’s ferries.

-- Make a vehicle reservation to the San Juan Islands, Sidney, BC and Port Townsend/Coupeville.

-- Check the terminal conditions website.

-- Sign up for ferry travel alerts.

-- Keep an eye on Twitter for ferry alerts on travel conditions.

-- Review the summer sailing schedule and best times to travel.

Peak travel times on most routes are expected to be westbound Thursday and Friday, May 26-27, and eastbound Monday, May 30.