After being restricted from traveling and socializing for over a year due to the pandemic, millions of drivers are expected to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting that more than 37 million people will travel at least 50 miles over the weekend, representing a 60% increase over last year.
Overall, travel times are expected to be about 20% longer than usual. The AAA identified time frames for each day when traffic is expected to be heaviest.
Worst Travel Times
- Thursday between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.
- Friday noon to 6 p.m.
- Mid-day Saturday and Sunday
- Monday noon to 6 p.m.
Millions of people will also be flying to their destinations. Nearly 19 million passengers traveled through airports last Sunday - the most since the pandemic lockdown began.
Masks are still required in airports and on airplanes as half of Americans have yet to get vaccinated. The TSA doesn't plan to change that policy at this juncture.
The rise in travelers is expected despite rising gas prices, which are the highest they’ve been since the 2014 holiday weekend.
Drivers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and across New England have already packed their bags and bikes for the holiday. Some, like the Morgan family, are leaving New England.
“The traffic is ridiculous. I can’t believe it. Bumper to bumper. You know what, though? MDW - we’re ready to party. We’re in the mix," one New England traveler said.
Others, like David McGuire, are making their way into the region.
“We just arrived here from Dallas, Texas," David McGuire said. "Back up here to see some family in Shrewsbury.”