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Over 1 Million Memorial Weekend Travelers Expected in Mass.

By Tom Marino | May 19, 2023
Last Updated: May 19, 2023

WORCESTER – AAA projects a significant increase in travel for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Projections by AAA predict 42.3 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more from home over Memorial Day Weekend, a 7 percent rise from 2022. This indicates 2.7 million more people traveling compared to last year.

Air travel is expected to experience a notable boost, with nearly 3.4 million travelers flying to their destinations, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. The number of passengers is projected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, surpassing 2019 figures by 170,000 individuals or 5.4 percent.

Despite high ticket prices, demand for flights is skyrocketing, potentially making this Memorial Day weekend the busiest at airports since 2005.

“Massachusetts will be joining the many Memorial Day travelers with more than one million taking to the roads and skies. That’s a 6.9 percent increase from the almost 950,000 a year ago,” said Mary Maguire, Vice President of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Northeast. Of those, 917,000 will travel by car. And 81,000 will take to the skies, a 10.4 percent increase, meaning this summer travel season could be one for the record books, especially at airports.”

Road trips are also on the rise, with a 6 percent increase in Memorial Day travelers compared to last year. A total of 37.1 million Americans will drive to their destinations, enjoying the benefit of lower gas prices compared to the previous year when the national average exceeded $4 per gallon. However, car travel is still shy of pre-pandemic numbers by approximately 500,000 travelers.

Additionally, more people are opting for alternative modes of transportation such as buses and trains, with an anticipated total of 1.85 million travelers, a substantial 20.6 percent increase from 2022.

According to transportation data provider INRIX, Friday, May 26 is predicted to be the busiest day on the roads during the Memorial Day weekend. The best times to travel by car are in the morning or after 6 PM, while the lightest traffic days are expected to be Saturday and Sunday. Major metropolitan areas like Boston, New York, Seattle, and Tampa may experience double the normal travel times. Bob Pishue, a transportation analyst at INRIX, advises drivers to avoid peak hours or explore alternative routes to minimize congestion and stress.

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