Memorial Day Travel Surge Expected
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – With relaxed mask mandates, vaccinations, and a little freedom from the CDC, experts expect more than 37 million travelers to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend.
According to AAA, last year’s travel volume was the lowest ever recorded but they are expecting a significant increase compared to the previous year’s numbers-as this weekend’s Memorial Day holiday kicks off the summer season.
“ We are not back up to those pre pandemic levels yet but we are seeing 60% more travels compared to what we saw last year. For a lot of us who haven’t taken a trip in a long time, it might be a little different travel experience than what we have seen in a year and a half,” says Megan Cooper, AAA.
If you haven’t taken a vacation in a while, there are a few preparations that you might want to make BEFORE you hit the road. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, check all your fluid levels, all the lights on your vehicle are in working condition and your emergency kit is refilled. Experts say the most important recommendation is simply to plan ahead.
“ If you are planning your road trip, some of the busiest times on the roadway are going to be leading up to the weekend so today and tomorrow. In general the times you want to avoid are those afternoon time periods, where we have the travel traffic mixing with our normal commuter traffic,” says Cooper.
With more millions of Americans expected to travel this weekend and the majority of travelers choosing to travel by car, officials say that some places in the Southeast are still feeling the effects of the colonial pipeline shortage-so travelers should be aware of what they’ll pay at the pump.
“For those who are taking a road trip we are expecting the most expensive gas prices that we have seen since 2014,” says Cooper.
If you are celebrating Memorial Day with a road trip, remember to plan ahead, drive carefully and give yourself a little extra time to reach your destination. For more travel tips , covid restrictions map, or gas prices click here.