NEW YORK (PIX11) — By car, train and plane, millions of people are planning to hit the road in record numbers this holiday weekend.
“When Americans get holiday, they take advantage of it,” said Robert Sinclair of AAA Northeast.
They certainly are. An estimated 37.1 million people are expected to be taking to the highways this weekend, an increase of more than two million over last year. Gas prices are significantly lower than a year ago. The national average is $3.53 a gallon, compared to $4.47 a gallon the same time last year. But it’s not the lower gas prices that’s fueling the mass exodus to the roads the Memorial Day.
“I think it’s post-pandemic,” said Sinclair. “We still have pent up wanderlust because of the COVID lockdown, and we’re exercising the opportunity now to take a trip.”
AAA recommends before starting your car, make sure it’s in good operating condition. Sinclair estimated there will be 483,000 breakdowns during the holiday period. Flat tires and dead batteries top the list of problems they will be assisting motorists with on the side of the road.
If you are traveling by air, be prepared for a lot of company. Air travel is up 11% from last year with almost three and a half people million flying, despite air fares 20% to 40% higher. Airlines claim to be repaired for not having a repeat of last year’s worst flight delays and cancellations. AAA suggests you book your flight early, don’t check baggage, and sign up for TSA PreCheck to expedite your passage through the terminal.
People are determined to get out this year. Bookings are also up by 20% for bus and train travel. If you’re driving, AAA advises you get out early, noting that the worst times to drive will be Thursday and Friday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.