Record Travel Expected Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
May 23, 2019
If you're heading out of town for the long Memorial Day weekend, you aren't alone. Thursday is expected to be the busiest travel day on the roads with the most congested drive times between 4:45 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. according to a report from AAA.
More than 1.5 million more people are expected to travel for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend as compared to last year, with a record number of people taking road trips since AAA began tracking holiday traffic.
"Solid job and income growth have left Americans with a lot of disposable income in their pockets," Robert Sinclair, a spokesperson for AAA said. “Many have decided to spend their extra dollars on a trip, usually by car, in spite of higher gasoline prices."
According to the report, nearly 43 million Americans plan on traveling 50 miles or more for the holiday between Thursday, May 23 and Monday, May 27. That's more than 3.6 percent more than last year. Nearly 3.25 million people plan on flying to their destination, an increase of 3.6 percent over last year. Another 1.9 million plan on using some other form of travel, including trains, bus or cruise. However, most everyone else (37.6 million) plan on driving to their destination - a record for the Memorial Day weekend.
AAA says they also expect to be busy helping rescue more than 353,000 drivers over the holiday weekend who suffer with flat tires, dead batteries and lockouts.
"Americans are eagerly anticipating the start of summer, and expensive gas prices won’t keep them home this Memorial Day weekend," Paula Twidale, the vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement. “Consumer spending remains strong, helped by solid job and income growth. Families continue to prioritize spending their disposable incomes on travel, and near-record numbers of them are looking forward to doing just that for Memorial Day."
Depending on where you live, travel times could get dicey over the next few days. AAA joined forces with INRIX, a global transportation analytics company to find the worst days and times to travel to and from your destination:
- Atlanta: Thursday, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
- Boston: Monday, 3:45-5:45 p.m.
- Chicago: Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
- Detroit: Friday, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
- Houston: Sunday, 2:15-4:15 p.m.
- Los Angeles: Friday, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
- New York: Thursday, 4:45-6:45 p.m.
- San Francisco: Saturday, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
- Seattle: Monday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
- Washington, D.C.: Monday, 3:45-5:45 p.m.
Photo: Getty Images