AAA projects nearly 2.2 million Floridians will travel over Memorial Day weekend


Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the busiest in three years, building on a resurgence in travel that began earlier this spring. This year’s forecast marks the second-largest single-year increase in travelers since 2010 (2021 was the highest), bringing volumes back almost to pre-pandemic levels.

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“Based on the Memorial Day travel forecast, the summer travel season is off to a great start,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of travel for AAA. “People are more comfortable traveling now than at any other time in the past two years, and travel bookings reflect that. Flight, hotel and cruise bookings for Memorial Day weekend is twice as big as the holidays last year, and that momentum will likely continue well into the summer.

AAA predicts nearly 2.2 million Floridians will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend. This represents an increase of 8.3% compared to 2021, bringing travel volumes back to almost the same level as in 2017.

Florida 2022 Memorial Day Travelers

Florida AAA Courtesy Chart

Nationally, it’s a similar story. More than 39.2 million Americans will travel for the holiday weekend. The 8.3% increase over 2021 brings travel volumes in line with 2017 figures.

2022 National Memorial Day Vacationers

Florida AAA Courtesy Chart


Florida AAA Courtesy Chart

All movement modes bounce; Air travel is approaching pre-pandemic levels

A recent AAA survey found that Floridians are more comfortable traveling now than at any time in the past two years. This increased comfort is driving growth in all modes of transportation this year, especially air travel.

Florida air travel volumes are expected to rise 28% from a year ago — the second-highest annual increase in more than a decade. The 3 million Americans expected to fly this Memorial Day weekend are just below 2019 levels. The number of air travelers to Florida was down just 1% from 2019.

“Increasing demand and weather conditions have challenged flight schedules since the start of the year,” Haas continued. “With the kind of volume we expect in the future, we always recommend the safety net of a travel agent and travel insurance. Both are lifesavers if something unexpectedly derails your travel plans. travel.

90% of travelers will drive, despite record gas prices

Despite historically high gas prices, 90% of Memorial Day travelers plan to travel by car. Nearly 2 million Floridians are expected to take a road trip over the holidays. This is 5.4% more than last year’s holiday weekend.

Memorial Day gas prices set to set new holiday record

A combination of tightening global supply and strengthening demand are the main culprits for this unprecedented pain at the pump. At press time, the average gasoline price in Florida is $4.50 per gallon. Previously, Memorial Day travelers found average prices at the pump of $2.86 in 2021, $2.60 in 2019, and $2.91 in 2018. The highest average price recorded on Memorial Day was 3, $93 per gallon in 2008.

“Coming out of this 2-year pandemic, Floridians are eager to travel again, and it doesn’t look like record gas prices or other inflationary pressures will stop them,” the spokesperson said. ‘AAA, Mark Jenkins. “Many may consider cost-cutting measures to offset the extra expenses, such as traveling shorter distances, staying at a cheaper hotel, or spending less on shopping, dining and entertainment.”

Travel prices

• Airfare — AAA finds the lowest average airfare is 6% higher than last year at $184/ticket. Saturday is the most expensive day to fly and Monday is the cheapest.

• Hotels — Midscale hotel rates increased by approximately 42%, with lowest average rates ranging from approximately $199 to $257/night for AAA-rated hotels.

• Car Rental — Daily car rental rates were down 16% from last year, with the lowest average rate at $100/day.

Busiest travel days/hours

Flight – Based on AAA booking data, Thursday is shaping up to be the busiest day for air travel during the Memorial Day travel window (May 26 – May 30), with Monday being the lightest.

AAA recommends:

• Arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

• Booking a flight outside peak periods to reduce waiting times.

• Take the road when there is less traffic and allow more time to reach your destination.

Road trips — For those hitting the road, Thursday and Friday should be peak days.

INRIX predicts that drivers will experience the longest travel delays ahead of the holiday weekend, particularly the afternoons of Thursday May 26 and Friday May 27. Drivers of major U.S. subways could experience double the commute time compared to a normal commute.

Florida AAA Courtesy Chart

Prepare your vehicle; AAA to rescue 388,000 stranded motorists

For the 34.9 million Americans who hit the road, it is always advisable to prepare your vehicle for the trip with a complete vehicle inspection. AAA expects to respond to more than 388,000 calls for help over Memorial Day weekend. Have key components like the battery, fuel system, tires, brakes and fluid levels checked and make sure your vehicle’s emergency kit is fully stocked.

AAA’s tips for tackling rising travel prices

• Book early. Airfares and hotel prices normally increase as the date of travel approaches and availability decreases.

• Be flexible with your dates and destinations. Select off-peak travel times, such as when the kids are at school. Prices are lower when there is less demand.

• Determine if it is cheaper to drive or fly. It will depend on the distance and the number of travelers. Shop for airline tickets, then use the AAA Gas Cost Calculator to estimate the cost of gas for your trip.

• Participate in loyalty programs and memberships such as AAA, which may offer discounted rates on hotels, restaurants and more.

• Use a travel agency. They have direct relationships with travel suppliers, giving them access to pricing, inventory, and travel benefits that you might not find on your own.

• Don’t forget travel insurance. If you miss your trip for any reason, travel insurance can help you recover deposits and other expenses that you might not otherwise be able to recover. If your flight is canceled or delayed, there are policies that can help offset the extra expenses you weren’t prepared for. You could also receive financial compensation for flight delays of as little as 3 hours.

Money-saving tips for road trippers

• Leave early to avoid traffic jams and more time on the road.

• Reduce food expenses by packing snacks and water.

• Consider staying at an all-inclusive resort. This limits driving and paying a la carte for entertainment and dining.

• Compare gas prices with the free AAA mobile app. Gas stations near airports and attractions often have the highest prices.

• Use AAA’s Gas Cost Calculator to determine how much you can expect to spend on gas during your trip.

• Use loyalty programs like AAA Membership, which offers discounted rates on hotels, restaurants, and even gas.

Big cities and beaches are the main destinations

AAA booking data reveals that major cities and beaches are top destinations this Memorial Day, both at home and abroad:

Florida AAA Courtesy Chart


Florida AAA Courtesy Chart

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