Sunday, 26 Jun 2022

What Americans Can Expect During Memorial Day Holiday Travel Period

The busy holiday period will reach near pre-pandemic totals.


What Americans Can Expect During Memorial Day Holiday Travel Period

Officials from AAA Travel expect 39.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, running between May 26-30.

The estimates would indicate an increase of 8.3 percent over 2021, with air travel up 25 percent over last year. With totals expected to be slightly lower than pre-pandemic levels, AAA urges travelers to book now and remember flexibility is key for the holiday period.

"Memorial Day is always a good predictor of what's to come for summer travel," AAA Travel senior vice president Paula Twidale said. "Based on our projections, summer travel isn't just heating up, it will be on fire. People are overdue for a vacation and they are looking to catch up on some much-needed R&R in the coming months."

Preliminary data shows the percentage of people traveling by air should surpass 2019 levels, with 7.7 percent of travelers choosing air travel as their preferred mode, up from 7.5 percent before the pandemic shut down travel.

Despite gas prices reaching historical totals, AAA Travel revealed 34.9 million Americans plan to travel by car, a jump of 4.6 percent over 2021. The share of car travel is expected to fall from 92.1 percent last year to 88.9 percent this year, indicating that higher gas prices are impacting how people choose to travel for the unofficial start of summer.

"Air travel has faced several challenges since the beginning of the year," Twidale continued. "With the type of volume we anticipate, we continue to recommend the safety net of a travel agent and travel insurance. Both are a lifesaver if something unexpectedly derails your travel plans."

Demand is also surging, causing prices to climb for flights, car rentals, accommodations, tours, cruises and other activities. The Vacationer also released its Memorial Day 2022 Travel Survey, which found that nearly 57 percent of American adults said they would take a road trip during the holiday weekend, totaling more than 146 million people.

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