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Record number of travelers expected for 2024 Memorial Day weekend

BALTIMORE, MD—The Memorial Day weekend travel period is rapidly approaching and a record number of travelers are expected to be on the roads. A new report released by AAA Travel projects that 43.8 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The 43.8 million number represents a 4% increase when compared to last year and is even close to matching the all-time high of 44 million travelers recorded in 2005.

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

The report also indicates that 38.4 million people will travel by car over Memorial Day weekend, setting a record for the highest number of car travelers since AAA began tracking in 2000. The number of drivers this year is up 4% when compared to last year and 1.9% higher when compared to 2019.

Air travel is also expected to rebound and 3.51 million air travelers are projected to fly over Memorial Day weekend. This represents an increase of 4.8% when compared to last year and a 9% jump when compared to 2019. It will be the most crowded Memorial Day weekend at airports since 2005 with 3.64 million people flying for the holiday in 2005.

Travelers are encouraged to book flights and rental cars in advance as prices are expected to be similar to last year with the exception of a potential spike in prices as the summer travel season gets underway.

Untreated oil prices and the ongoing wars in the Middle East and Ukraine could also cause oil prices to rise.

Best and Worst Times to Travel by Car 
Date  Worst Travel Time  Best Travel Time 
Thursday, May 23  12:00 – 6: 00 PM  Before 11 AM, After 7PM 
Friday, May 24  12:00 – 7:00 PM  Before 11AM, After 8 PM 
Saturday, May 25  2:00 – 5:00 PM  Before 1 PM, After 6 PM 
Sunday, May 26  3:00 – 7:00 PM  Before 1 PM 
Monday, May 27  3:00 – 7:00 PM  After 7 PM 

Source: INRIX

2024 Memorial Day Travel Forecast

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

Photo by Taras Makarenko from Pexels

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