AAA Hawaii projects 7.3 million people in the states of Hawaii, Alaska, California, Washington and Oregon will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend, an 8.4% increase from last year and more than 1 percent higher than in 2019, before the pandemic began. Nationwide, AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will travel for the holiday weekend, a 7% increase from 2022 and down just 1 percent from in 2019. The Memorial Day travel period is defined as five days from Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29. The expected travel volume for the unofficial start of summer is a sign of what’s to come in the months ahead.
“This summer travel season could be one for the record books, especially at airports,” said Heather Felix, AAA Hawaii vice president of travel products. “Despite higher ticket prices than last year, demand for flights is skyrocketing and this Memorial Day weekend could be the busiest at airports since 2005.”
Memorial Day Travel Volumes by Modes of Transportation
Top Destinations this Memorial Day Weekend
AAA booking data for the Memorial Day weekend shows tourist hotspots like Orlando, New York City, and Las Vegas are top domestic destinations. Cruise port cities in Florida and Alaska, as well as Seattle, are high on the list given the 50% increase in domestic cruise bookings compared to last year. Other popular U.S. cities this Memorial Day include Denver, Boston, Anaheim, and Canton, Ohio – home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Travelers are paying more for Memorial Day trips this year, in large part due to the rising cost of airline tickets and hotel accommodations. AAA booking data shows a 40% increase in airfare to this year’s top destinations. But that’s not stopping travelers from booking flights abroad. International travel is surging with bookings 250% higher this holiday weekend compared to 2022. European cities are the most popular, including Rome, Paris, Dublin, London, Barcelona, and Athens. International car rentals are up more than 80% over 2022. Hotel prices in the U.S. and internationally are 25% to 50% higher compared to last year.
AAA Hawaii Offers Travel Tips this Memorial Day and Beyond
- Inspect vehicle tires, battery, and fluid levels before a long road trip. Nationwide, AAA expects to rescue more than 460,000 stranded drivers at the roadside.
- Pack food, water, an emergency kit, first-aid kit, and mobile phone charger in case you breakdown.
- Reserve airport parking ahead of time to save you time on departure day.
- Get to airports at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
- Sign up for TSA PreCheck or Clear to speed up the security process.
- Download airline’s app and use FlightAware to track your aircraft the day of departure.
- Avoid checking a bag, if possible. Carry-on luggage allows you to be more flexible in the event of a delay or cancellation.
- Book summer travel now! High demand and reduced schedules will mean fewer options.
- Work with a trusted AAA travel advisor who can save you money and assist in rebooking should you need to.
- Consider travel insurance to protect your investment.