ATLANTA — The American Automobile Association (AAA) released a Memorial Day forecast report and it predicts that this weekend will be the busiest it’s been in three years.
AAA predicts that nearly 1.2 million Georgians will travel 50 miles or more from home for Memorial Day weekend.
This marks the second highest single-year increase in travelers since 2010, with 2021 being the highest. The report said these volumes are almost in line with pre-pandemic levels.
“By the looks of this Memorial Day travel forecast, the summer travel season is off to a sizzlin’ start,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA.
Haas added that people are more comfortable traveling now than they have been in the past two years.
“Travel bookings are a reflection of that. Reservations for flights, hotels, and cruises for Memorial Day weekend are twice as strong as last year’s holiday and that momentum will likely carry into the summer,” said Haas.
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Recent AAA data found that the increased comfort is driving growth in all modes of transportation this year, especially air travel.
Georgia air travel is expected to rise 26% from last year, which was the second-largest yearly increase in more than 10 years.
While planning trips for the weekend and the summer, Haas recommends a safety net in case of any unexpected travel issues.
“Surging demand and weather have challenged flight schedules since the beginning of the year,” Haas continued. “With the type of volume we anticipate going forward, we still recommend the safety net of a travel agent and travel insurance. Both are lifesavers if something unexpectedly derails your travel plans.”
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The AAA report also stated that despite historically high gas prices, 90% of travelers will drive this weekend.
Gas prices for Memorial Day are likely to be the highest on record with the average gas price at $4.15 in Georgia, according to AAA. But that’s not stopping travelers.
“Coming out of this two-year pandemic, Georgians are eager to travel again, and it doesn’t seem like record high gas prices or other inflationary pressures will stop them,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA.
For those hitting the road, Thursday and Friday are anticipated to be peak traffic days. Based on AAA booking data, Thursday is expected to be the busiest day for air travel during the Memorial Day travel period, with Monday being the lightest.
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