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Record Number of Travels Predicted for Memorial Day

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Sonora, CA – This Memorial Day holiday weekend is forecast to be one of the busiest since AAA began tracking travel data in 2000.

More than 43.8 million Americans are projected to travel, 4 percent higher than last year and close to 2005’s record of 44 million travelers. According to AAA, car travel is also up 4% and air travel by 5% this year.

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “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.”

California is expected to beat last year’s record of 5.4 million travelers, compared to 5.65 million this year. Most will travel by road, with 82 percent driving for the holiday. About 11 percent will fly, and 7 percent will choose other forms of transportation like cruises, buses, or trains, say AAA.

Thursday, May 23, and Friday, May 24, are projected to be the busiest days for road travel. AAA recommends starting your trip before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. For those flying, get to the airport at least two hours ahead of your departure time.

AAA reminds drivers that vehicle breakdowns happen, and last year during the holiday there were 89,380. That number is one reason to do a maintenance check on tires, the battery, and topping off fluids before hitting the road.

AAA provides these statistics regarding service calls from California drivers during the holiday last year:

  • Nearly 39,000 motorists called for tow service
  • Over 25,000 motorists called for a jump start or battery replacement
  • Over 10,600 motorists called for flat tire help

Noting that even a well-maintained vehicle can break down, AAA advises, “Drivers should have a plan in case of emergencies. No road trip is complete without emergency supplies and a roadside service provider.