AAA reports third highest travel rate for Memorial Day weekend in decades

What to know when traveling this Memorial Day weekend
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Memorial Day weekend has arrived and travel experts are anticipating some of the busiest days of travel that the United States has seen since 2000.

“This will be the third busiest Memorial Day since we began tracking those numbers,” said Spokesperson and Safety Advisor for AAA Kentucky, Lynda Lambert.

An estimated 42 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday weekend. Out of those 42 million people, an estimated 37 million people will be traveling by car.

Lambert said that the COVID-19 pandemic played a huge role in low travel rates and the incredible travel surge that is expected for the three-day weekend.

“For so long, we were not able to travel. The U.S. was shut down, other countries were shut down and it was hard for people to get together and feel like they could do so safely,” said Lambert. “Now, with that pent-up demand, we are starting to see our travel numbers really increase and we like to say travel is back.”

Despite the high prices of gas across the state, that surely is not stopping people from traveling this Memorial Day weekend.

“We have found that most Americans if they truly have the desire to travel regardless of what gasoline costs, they will cut back in other areas and save money for that vacation,” said Lambert.

Gas prices in the state of Kentucky sit at an average of $3.34. In 2022, the average during Memorial Day weekend was $4.29 - a whole dollar difference.

Aside from filling up the gas tank, Lambert recommended taking cars to a trusted mechanic for an inspection before hitting the road. AAA is predicted to rescue more than 480,000 people on the side of the road this weekend alone.

”Make sure everything is in working order ... the fluids, the battery, and the tires. You can probably reduce your risk of becoming one of those people stranded by the roadside if you make sure your car is in proper working order,” said Lambert.