39 Million Americans Expected To Travel Over Memorial Day Weekend

Thursday, May 26th 2022, 1:05 pm
By: CBS News

Are you taking a trip for Memorial Day? According to AAA, more Americans are getting away this long holiday weekend and paying more for it, too.

Despite the price tag, this Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the busiest for travel since 2019. AAA predicts 39.2 million people will travel 50 miles or more, up 8.3% over last year.

34.9 million will hit the road, another 3.01 million are expected to fly, and more than 1.33 million will take a bus, train or cruise.

Some are calling it "revenge travel." "What we've gone through as a country over the past couple of years, that is spurring people to just get out. They want to have those experiences," says Andrew Gross with AAA.

Those experiences are getting more expensive. Gas prices continue to break records and AAA says hotels are up 42% over last year.

Patrick De Haan at GasBuddy.com says the national average for a gallon of regular could hit $5 within a few weeks. "This may be the low point for the summer in what could become a very expensive summer to fill your tank."

If you are traveling, especially if you're hitting the roads, experts say one way you may be able to save is don't fill up right off the freeway. Get about a mile or so away and you may find that gas prices are lower. Experts also suggest making sure you're up to date on car maintenance, have appropriate tire pressure, and stick to the speed limit to help maximize your gas mileage.

Flyers who booked early got the best rates and there's also a run on rental cars. "You may end up with a lot bigger car because all the more economical cars have already been snapped up," Gross says.

AAA still expects a robust summer travel season, even if Americans are pinching pennies along the way.