Despite higher gas prices, a record number of Americans are expected to be on the highways with you for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27. AAA forecasts some 37.6 million Americans will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 3.5% more than last year.
A total of 43 million people are expected to travel, the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes dating back to 2000. This year only trails the record set in 2005.
Despite a rising national gas price average of almost $3 per gallon, the vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations, according to AAA. For these motorists, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects travel delays on major roads could be more than three times longer than normal during evening commutes.
NRIX and AAA also predict drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24 in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip, while New Yorkers and Washington, D.C., could see three times the delay.
“Travelers should anticipate delays to start on Wednesday and continue through Memorial Day,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst, INRIX. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid the morning and evening commuting times or plan alternate routes.”
|Metro Area||Worst Day for Travel||Worst Time for Travel||Delay Multiplier of Normal Trip|
|Atlanta||Thursday, May 23||4:30 – 6:30 PM||2.2x|
|Boston||Monday, May 27||3:45 – 5:45 PM||3.0x|
|Chicago||Friday, May 24||3:30 – 5:30 PM||1.6x|
|Detroit||Friday, May 24||2:30 – 4:30 PM||1.7x|
|Houston||Sunday, May 26||2:15 – 4:15 PM||1.0x|
|Los Angeles||Friday, May 24||4:30 – 6:30 PM||1.0x|
|New York||Thursday, May 23||4:45 – 6:45 PM||2.0x|
|San Francisco||Saturday, May 25||1:00 – 3:00 PM||1.6x|
|Seattle||Monday, May 27||3:30 – 5:30 PM||1.0x|
|Washington, D.C.||Monday, May 27||3:45 – 5:45 PM||3.0x|
These are the top destinations in the U.S. this Memorial Day weekend, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:
- Orlando, Florida
- New York, New York
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Anaheim, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Tampa, Florida
- San Francisco, California