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Memorial Day holiday travel may near record with 44M hitting the road: AAA

The American Automobile Association is anticipating a record-tying nearly 44 million travelers — a vast majority hitting the road for at least 50 miles — on the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend.

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day Weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said of the expected 43.8 million to hit the road between Thursday, May 23, and Monday, May 27.

The last time 44 million people hit the road on MDW was 2005, according to the association.

This year’s projections — 38.4 million folks by car alone — are also 4% higher than in 2023 and have surged 1.9% above 2019 figures as well.

“Travel times are expected to be up to 90% longer than normal,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at transit data company INRIX. “Travelers should stay up-to-date on traffic apps, 511 services and local news stations to avoid sitting in traffic longer than necessary.”

Meanwhile, airports too are gearing up for an expected 3.51 million travelers over the holiday — up 4.8% from last year and 9% from 2019.

The worst times to hit the road on Memorial Day Weekend

Date Worst Travel TimesBest Travel Times
Thursday, May 23 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.Before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m.
Friday, May 24 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. Before 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 25 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.Before 1 p.m. and after 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 26 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.Before 1 p.m.
Monday, May 27 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.After 7 p.m.