AAA projected that nearly 40 million consumers will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, traveling at least 50 miles away from home.
The projected travel volume for the holiday weekend, otherwise known as the unofficial start to summer, is an 8.3% bump from 2021.
Even with gas prices hitting record-highs, AAA projected that 34.9 million consumers will drive to their intended destination, up 4.6% from 2021. Meanwhile, another 1.33 million are expected to take a bus, train or cruise.
Another 3.01 million people are projected to fly during the holiday weekend, which is a 25% bump over last year.
Air travel will surpass pre-pandemic levels with 7.7% of travelers expected to choose air travel compared with the 7.5% in 2019.
"Memorial Day is always a good predictor of what’s to come for summer travel," AAA Senior Vice President Paula Twidale said,
So far, the holiday weekend is already estimated to be the busiest it's been in the past two years. It also "marks the second-highest single-year increase in travelers since 2010," according to AAA.
With surging demand, AAA suggested consumers should book plans immediately if they haven't done so already. The earlier a trip is booked, the better chance consumers have of locking in a deal, AAA said. Everything from car rentals, flights, accommodations and cruises is quickly filling up.
"Prices are already skewing higher and with greater demand, finding last-minute deals is unlikely," according to AAA.
For air travel, the average lowest fare is already 6% higher than last year costing about $184 one way. Additionally, mid-range hotels are 42% higher than in 2021, with nights ranging between $199 – $257 for AAA-approved hotels.
Car rentals, however, are cheaper with the daily car rental rate decreasing 16%. The average lowest rate is $100 per day, according to AAA.