Traffic to Surge for Memorial Day Weekend, Says AAA

by Alice

Over 43 million Americans are set to travel for Memorial Day weekend, with a record number hitting the roads, underscoring the need for thorough trip planning.

AAA projects 43.8 million travelers will journey 50 miles or more, marking a 4% increase from last year. Of these, 38.4 million will travel by car, the highest since AAA began tracking in 2000.


“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “We’re projecting an additional one million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, not only exceeding pre-pandemic levels but also signaling a very busy summer travel season ahead.”


The busiest travel days are expected to be Thursday, May 23, and Friday, May 24. To avoid heavy traffic, AAA advises departing early in the morning or late in the evening. For those returning home on Sunday or Monday, avoiding afternoon travel is recommended.


On Thursday, the best times to travel are before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m., while on Friday, it’s before 11 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Sunday travelers should hit the road before 1 p.m., and on Monday, after 7 p.m. is ideal to dodge congestion.

Traffic patterns will vary by city. Tampa, Florida, is expected to see an 88% increase in traffic on Sunday morning along I-75 S, and Los Angeles may experience an 84% surge on Thursday evening along I-5 N.

Air travel is also set to rise, with over 3.5 million travelers taking to the skies, the busiest since 2005. This represents a 4.8% increase from last year and a 9% rise from 2019.

Additionally, 1.9 million travelers are expected to use buses, cruises, and trains, a 5.6% increase from last year.

“Travel demand has been soaring, and long holiday weekends create the perfect windows for getaways,” Twidale noted.



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