EYECARE: Coronavirus BRIEFING: Business Updates Record Number of Travelers Expected This Memorial Day Weekend By Staff Thursday, May 18, 2023 9:49 AM Americans are ready to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend. According to new statistics from the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 42 million Americans are slated to travel 50 miles or more from their home during the holiday weekend. This is a 7 percent increase over 2022. An additional 2.7 million people are expected to travel this summer compared to last summer, showing that COVID-19 is no longer playing a significant role in people’s travel plans. “This is expected to be the third-busiest Memorial Day weekend since 2000, when AAA started tracking holiday travel,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “More Americans are planning trips and booking them earlier, despite inflation. This summer travel season could be one for the record books, especially at airports.” Approximately 3.4 million travelers will fly to their destination this year, an increase of more than 11 percent. Holiday travel is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, with 170,000 additional passengers more than in 2019. High ticket prices for flights do not seem to be affecting travel plans, as experts believe airports could be as busy as they were in 2005. Road trips are also in the rise, with 37 million Americans planning to drive to their destination, up 6 percent over last year. “With lower fuel prices and more travelers on the road compared to last year, drivers should expect long delays this holiday weekend, especially in and around major metros as commuters mix with Memorial Day travelers,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice is to avoid driving during peak hours or use alternative routes.” This year’s top domestic destinations are Orlando, New York City and Las Vegas.