He's been gone for Memorial Day the past seven years, but Dover resident Mark Foreman still finds time to remember those who serve.
A Federal Emergency Management Agency contractor, Foreman is currently stationed in Kansas City, Mo. In the past, he's spent the holiday working in Orlando, Fla., and Des Moines, Iowa.
"I usually try to find a nice local Memorial Day celebration to attend while I am on the road and always lock myself in my hotel room in the evening to watch the Memorial Day concert from Washington, D.C.," he said.
While in Kansas City this year, Foreman said he will also visit the WWI Memorial there.
It's no coincidence those are low-cost activities, as the economy does determine which activities he chooses, Foreman said. If he were home, he said he'd probably just attend some local family cookouts.
And he's not alone.
While AAA estimates more Americans will travel during the holiday weekend this year, the agency predicts many of those travelers will stay closer to home and spend less money on entertainment.
Though gas prices are about 20 cents less per gallon than last year, folks are still recovering from higher prices early this spring, the agency reported.
The overall economic picture continues to slightly improve, but consumers are still reeling from early spring's gas prices that squeezed many household budgets, said Robert Darbelnet, president and CEO for AAA.
"Americans will still travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but many will compensate for reduced travel budgets by staying closer to home and cutting entertainment dollars," he said.
That's why JoAnna Marchezak is staying closer to her Camp Hill home. As she recently filled up her tank at a Rutter's in York, she talked about pinching pennies and stretching dollars.
"My friends and I all have student loans and other bills, so we're cutting corners where we can," she said.
Marchezak and two friends will split the cost of an Ocean City room, which they reserved Tuesday through Friday.
"It's only a couple hours away, so that's less gas, and it was so much cheaper than staying on the weekend," she said.
The average distance traveled by Americans during the holiday weekend is expected to be 642 miles, which is 150 miles less than last year's average distance of 792 miles, according to AAA.
But for York Township resident Aaron Hewett, that distance will be even less.
"I'd rather just hang out with family and friends and cook out in someone's backyard. Going away to the beach is cool, but it's so expensive. I'd rather just grill some burgers and hot dogs at home," he said.
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