AAA: High Gas Prices Won’t Hold Back Memorial Day Travel Plans Of Delawareans

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Expensive gas will not keep more than 123,000 Delawareans from traveling 50miles or more over Memorial Day weekend, according to a projection released Thursday by AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The large majority – about 110,000 – will be taking to the roads, up 5% from last year. However, air travel and travel by other modes of transportation will also be up significantly from last year.

“The roads will be as crowded as they have been over the Memorial Day holiday since before the pandemic but airports, train stations and bus depots will also be extremely busy so travelers should plan accordingly,” AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Jana Tidwell.

AAA Mid-Atlantic released more details about its travel outlook as well as advice for travelers:


2022 Projected Memorial Day Holiday Travelers – Delaware

NUMBER OF TRAVELERSTotal Population2022 TravelersPercent of population travelingPercent change vs. 2021
Delaware TOTALAuto, Air & Other1,003,384*123,41612.3%+7.6%
Delaware Auto89% of people travel by car110,37211.0%+4.8%
Delaware Air8% of people travel by air10,0331.0%+26.0%
Delaware Other(bus, cruise, etc.)2% of people travel by other3,0100.3%+195%
     
National TOTAL329.5 million*39.2 million11.8%+8.3%
National Auto 89% of people travel by car34.9 million10.5%+4.6%
National Air 8% of people travel by air3.0 million0.9%+25.0%
National Other(bus, cruise, etc.)3% of people travel by other1.3 million0.4%+200%

*U.S. Census Bureau/IHS Global Insight (v2021)

AAA National Travel Projections

The increase in the number of Delawareans traveling over the Memorial Day holiday mirrors national projections.

From May 26 through May 30, more than 39 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an increase of more than eight percent over last year. And, most of those traveling – more than 35 million – will be hitting the road.

More than 3 million will be flying to their destinations, an increase of almost 25% over last year – but still slightly below pre-pandemic air travel. And, the most significant increase over last year is the number of holiday travelers going by train, bus or cruise line – more than 1.3 million, which is an increase of almost 200% over last year.

AAA Tips for Every Travelers

“Whether you will be driving, flying or taking some other mode of transportation over the holiday weekend, planning ahead is key to ensuring your best travel experience,” Tidwell adds.

Driving:

  • Make sure your vehicle is road-ready: For the 1.6 million New Englanders planning to hit the road, planning ahead should include making sure your vehicle road-trip ready. AAA recommends a full vehicle inspection. Make an appointment today for a free bumper to bumper check up at the AAA Car Care, Insurance and Travel center in Southington or find a trusted mechanic at any AAA Approved Auto Repair. If you prefer DIY, make sure to check your battery, fuel system, tires, brakes and fluid levels before hitting the road.
  • Make sure your AAA membership is up to date: The Memorial Day weekend will be no holiday for AAA. Our Emergency Roadside Service crews are gearing up for an extremely busy weekend. AAA expects to respond to more than 1,100 calls for help between Thursday and Monday – just in Delaware alone.
  • Pack a summer emergency kit: Should you experience a breakdown, it is important to have everything on hand to keep you and your passengers safe and comfortable while waiting for help to arrive. The emergency kit should include a fully charged cellphone, additional cellphone charger, jumper cables, first aid kit, flare or flashlight with extra batteries so you can see and be seen, a few extra blankets, water, snacks and extra medicines.
  • Travel at off-peak: For those hitting the road, Thursday and Friday are anticipated to be peak traffic days.
DayWorst TimeBest Time
Thursday1:00-8:00pmBefore 6:00am or After 9:00pm
Friday12:00-7:00pmBefore 7:00am or After 9:00pm
Saturday1:00-6:00pmBefore 10:00am
Sunday1:00-4:00pmBefore 10:00am
Monday1:00-4:00pmBefore 11:00am
Source: INRIX

Flying

  • Check your flight status before leaving for the airport: Don’t make a wasted trip. Download the airline app and check your flight status before setting out.
  • Get there early: Airports will be crowded. Arrive at the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours for international.
  • Understand expectations: Review TSA guidelines for getting through security and pack accordingly. Also, remember that masks are still required in some airports and on some flights to international destinations. AAA encourages all travelers to abide by CDC guidelines.
  • If possible, travel off-peak: Based on AAA booking data, Thursday is shaping up to be the busiest day for air travel during the Memorial Day travel period with Monday being the lightest.

To learn more about which airports have the longest wait times for security visit TheExtraMile.com.

All modes of transportation:

  • Consider Travel Insurance: Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Talk to a trust travel advisor about the travel insurance policy that would cover you if your weekend getaway does not go as planned.
  • Book everything in advance: Flights, car rentals, accommodations, tours, cruises and other activities are in high demand and availability will be limited. Prices are already skewing higher and with greater demand, finding last-minute deals is unlikely.
  • Be Flexible and Patient: Whether you are driving, flying or going by some other mode of transportation, expect crowds, expect delays and plan accordingly. Staffing in airports at hotels and in restaurants continues to be a challenge. Pack your patience.

Big Cities and Beaches are Top Destinations

AAA booking data reveals that big cities and beaches are top destinations this Memorial Day, both domestically and abroad:

2022 Top Memorial Day Destinations
U.S DestinationsInternational Destinations
Orlando, FLVancouver, Canada
Seattle, WADublin, Ireland
Miami, FLParis, France
Las Vegas, NVRome, Italy
Anaheim, CALondon, England
New York, NYCancun, Mexico
Denver, COAmsterdam, Netherlands
Anchorage, AKBarcelona, Spain
Boston, MANassau, Bahamas
Honolulu, HICalgary, Canada

Forecast Methodology:

In cooperation with AAA, IHS Markit– a world leader in critical information, analytics and expertise — developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes. The economic variables used to forecast travel for the current holiday are leveraged from IHS Markit’s proprietary databases. These data include macroeconomic drivers such as employment; output; household net worth; asset prices including stock indices; interest rates; housing market indicators and variables related to travel and tourism, including prices of gasoline, airline travel and hotel stays. AAA and IHS Markit have quantified holiday travel volumes going back to 2000.

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