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AAA Predicts Massive Spike in Travel for Memorial Day Holiday



As more and more people become vaccinated against COVID-19, AAA Travel revealed an estimated 37 million travelers would hit the road for vacations at least 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Data from AAA Travel found the more than 37 million people traveling for the holiday period— May 27 through May 31—is an increase of 60 percent over last year when only 23 million traveled during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 travel totals were the lowest number on record.

While the 2021 estimates are a massive increase from last year, they are still 13 percent (around six million) lower than 2019 totals. 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,” AAA Travel senior vice president Paula Twidale 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.”

AAA Travel also noted significant increases in online traffic and bookings on heading into the summer travel season. Data suggests the top road trip searches for 2021 include Las Vegas, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Denver and Nashville.

As for the top destinations being booked through AAA Travel, Orlando, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Anchorage and Colorado Springs round out the top five.

Over 90 percent of people traveling for the Memorial Day weekend will be driving to their destinations, totaling around 34 million Americans, a 52 percent increase from 2020. Air travel will also climb to an estimated 2.5 million people boarding planes, nearly six times more than last year. AAA reminds air travelers that masks are required in all airports and on flights.

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