MEMORIAL DAY TRAVEL TO REBOUND

AAA’s Memorial Day forecast predicts 60% more travelers than last year.

AAA Travel expects a significant rebound in the number of Americans planning to travel this Memorial Day weekend. From May 27 through May 31, more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an increase of 60% from last year when only 23 million traveled, the lowest on record since AAA began recording in 2000.

The expected strong increase in demand from last year’s holiday, which fell during the early phase of the pandemic, still represents 13%—or nearly six million—fewer travelers than in 2019. AAA urges those who choose to travel this year to exercise caution and take measures to protect themselves and others as the pandemic continues.

“As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine and consumer confidence grows, Americans are demonstrating a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, in a press release. “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.”

AAA notes that the actual number of holiday travelers could fluctuate as the holiday approaches. If there is an increase in reported cases attributed to new COVID-19 variants, some people may decide to stay home, while others may note the strong progress in vaccinations and make last-minute decisions to travel.

Another factor contributing to the expected increase in travel this holiday is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recently updated guidance that fully vaccinated people can travel domestically at low risk to themselves, while taking proper precautions.