Quad City campers stake claim for holiday fun

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Memorial Day travel is forecast to be slightly lower this year. AAA reports that's due to an up-and-down economy.

Reasons why more travelers are finding getaways close to home.

It's an early start to the holiday weekend. Buffalo Shores Campground is a busy place by Friday morning.

"The earlier you can get away from the workplace, the better," said Mary Thomas, a camper from Muscatine.

Thomas and her friends claimed a spot earlier this week. With prime spots cleared of flood debris, their view just got a lot better.

"It's so social," she continued. "You make so many new friends. Cooking outdoors, just getting away, is the best part of it all."

Camping is a popular option while staying close to home. The so-called "staycations" continue to be hot in the Quad Cities.

"The beach and the river," added James Bush, a camper from Coal Valley. "My wife loves to sit and watch the river go by."

According to AAA, more people will be traveling by car this holiday weekend. Nearly two-thirds say that gas prices won't affect plans.

That's why the Thomas and Fix families are cooking up something great. They drove just a short distance from Muscatine. But the benefits will be just as good.

"You don't really have to travel too far to find a good spot and have a good time," she concluded.

For Mary Thomas, lots of friends and good things to eat. That's serving up a successful start to the weekend for campers in Buffalo.