AAA: Memorial Day travel should exceed 37 million this year

US & World

EAST PROVIDENCE (WPRI) ─ States across the country are loosening their restrictions, meaning travel has picked back up nationwide.

With Memorial Day Weekend around the corner, AAA expects a significant rebound in the number of Americans planning to travel for the holiday.

AAA predicts that, from May 27-31, more than 37 million people will hit the road or take to the skies, which is a 60% increase from last year.

While the spike in travelers is a good thing, AAA is still encouraging everyone to use caution and take measures to protect themselves.

“As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine and consumer confidence grows, Americans are demonstrating a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day,” Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and government affairs at AAA Northeast said. “This pent-up demand will result in a significant increase in Memorial Day travel, which is a strong indicator for summer, though we must all remember to continue taking important safety precautions.”

Diana Gugliotta, public affairs manager at AAA Northeast, said the confidence to travel also comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recently-relaxed guidelines.

The CDC updated its guidance for fully-vaccinated Americans. The health agency said those who are fully vaccinated can travel domestically at low risk to themselves while taking the proper precautions.

Gugliotta said most of the travel they’re expecting this year will be by car, adding that 9 in 10 Memorial Day travelers will stay closer to home.

“There will be more road trips and local trips this year, rather than someone going internationally,” Gugliotta said.

But AAA said because the pandemic makes travel restrictions fluid, they recommend working with a travel agent. Travel agents can help people make any last-minute changes to their plans or explore travel insurance options.

AAA said the top destinations for this Memorial Day weekend include the following:

  1. Las Vegas, Nev.
  2. Orlando, Fla.
  3. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  4. Denver, Colo.
  5. Nashville, Tenn.

“If you look at this list, these are all places where you can have fun,” Gugliotta said. “People are looking to have fun again – look at Las Vegas and Nashville – as well as cities with a lot of outdoor activities like Denver, many people still feel safer outside.”

While driving will be the most preferred mode of transportation this Memorial Day weekend, AAA said roughly 2.5 million Americans plan to board a flight, which is nearly six times more than last year.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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