The American Automobile Association (AAA) said it expects 43 million Americans will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend but the organization advised against leaving Thursday evening, noting that 4:45-6:00 PM will be the worst time to travel.
"Solid job and income growth have left Americans with a lot of disposable income in their pockets," Robert Sinclair, a AAA New York spokesman, told USA Today. “Many have decided to spend their extra dollars on a trip, usually by car, in spite of higher gasoline prices."
AAA said in a report that it expected 1.5 million more people to travel this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year, making it the second-highest travel volume on record since the organization started tracking the data in 2000.
The organization noted that Americans were still traveling despite the average gas prices in the U.S. rising to $3 per gallon.
“Americans are eagerly anticipating the start of summer, and expensive gas prices won’t keep them home this Memorial Day weekend,” Paula Twidale, the vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement. “Consumer spending remains strong, helped by solid job and income growth. Families continue to prioritize spending their disposable incomes on travel, and near-record numbers of them are looking forward to doing just that for Memorial Day.”
With the influx of travelers this Memorial Day weekend, the AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, collaborated and found the worst days and times to travel to or from a destination.
Atlanta: Thursday, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Boston: Monday, 3:45-5:45 p.m.
Chicago: Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Detroit: Friday, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Houston: Sunday, 2:15-4:15 p.m.
Los Angeles: Friday, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
New York: Thursday, 4:45-6:45 p.m.
San Francisco: Saturday, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Seattle: Monday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Washington, D.C.: Monday, 3:45-5:45 p.m.
Trevor Reed, a transportation analyst for INRIX, gave some advice to those traveling.
“Drivers in the most congested metros should expect much worse conditions than normal,” Reed said in a statement. “Travelers should anticipate delays to start on Wednesday and continue through Memorial Day. Our advice to drivers is to avoid the morning and evening commuting times or plan alternate routes.”