Travelers out in bunches for Memorial Day weekend


NEW BERN, Craven County - AAA estimates 39 million people are traveling this Memorial Day holiday weekend. While they aren't all heading to the Crystal Coast, a lot of them are.

If it feels like more traffic than usual, that's because it is. According to AAA, travel levels are at their highest since 2005. Some drivers we spoke to are trying to find ways around the traffic.

"Bumper to bumper, right where you cross over the bridge (in New Bern)," said Donny Hodge. "Right there, you'll have to wait like 10 minutes to get to the light. It was bumper to bumper like I said."

There was heavy traffic throughout the New Bern and James City area Friday afternoon and evening. It seemed like they were all heading to the Crystal Coast as many vehicles we saw had boats attached to them.

"It's going to take a bit to get through it, but that's what you've got to do to get there," Jane Bullock said.

Stable gasoline prices are expected to fuel a slight increase in long trips this Memorial Day weekend.

The AAA auto club predicts that 39 million Americans will make a trip of at least 50 miles this weekend, up 2.7 percent from the same holiday last year.

The nationwide average price for a gallon of regular on Friday was $2.37. That's unchanged from early January. In recent years, prices have risen 35 to 70 cents per gallon heading into Memorial Day, says Patrick DeHaan, an analyst for the price-comparison site GasBuddy.

Vehicle sales fell about 2 percent through April, but sales of SUVs and trucks held up better, which analysts attribute to stable gas prices.