AAA: 1.3M Georgians Expected to Travel Memorial Day Weekend
Thursday, May 25th, 2023
AAA Travel expects there will be a significant number of Georgians planning to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend. According to AAA’s 2023 Memorial Day Travel Forecast, 1.3 million Georgians will journey 50 miles or more. That’s 86,000 more than last year and 13,000 more than before the pandemic, in 2019.
Georgia air travel numbers are set to reach a new record high. An estimated 1.2 million Georgians will drive, which is 70,000 more than last year. Meanwhile, 114,000 are forecast to fly, which is 12,000 more passengers than last year’s holiday.
“Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff to what promises to be a very busy summer travel season,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Despite various inflationary pressures, consumer spending is strong, and Americans still want to travel. Because of that, we’ve seen demand come roaring back, just shy of pre-pandemic levels in Georgia.”
Overall National Travel Figures are Third Highest for the Holiday
Although state holiday travel figures are poised to reach record highs, national travel numbers are still slightly behind pre-pandemic levels. Click here to read the full report.
Total Travelers – AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend*. That’s 2.7 million (+7%) more travelers than last year, but fewer people than what was reported in 2019 (42.8 million) and 2005 (44 million).
Air Travel – Despite higher ticket prices, demand for flights is soaring. AAA predicts the strongest air travel numbers since 2005. Nearly 3.4 million travelers are expected to fly for the holiday weekend. That’s 33,700 (11%) more passengers than last year, and 170,000 (5.4%) more than in 2019.
Airfares – Travelers are paying more for Memorial Day trips this year, in large part due to the rising cost of airline tickets. AAA booking data shows a 40% increase in airfares to this year’s Top Destinations.
Auto Travel – Memorial Day road trips are up 6% from last year. An estimated 37.1 million Americans will drive to their destinations. That’s 2 million more than last year, but 500,000 fewer than 2019 numbers. Driving remains the preferred mode of transportation for 88% of holiday travelers.
Gas Prices – Gas prices have moved lower in recent weeks, yet It’s too early to know if that downward trend will continue in the lead-up to the summer kick-off. However, it’s unlikely that prices will come anywhere near the state average that holiday travelers paid last year of $4.13 per gallon.
*Memorial Day Holiday Travel Period
For purposes of this forecast, the Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29. The five-day holiday length is consistent with previous holiday periods.
Best/Worst Times to Travel and Peak Congestion by Metro
Friday, May 26 will be the busiest day on the roads, according to INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights. The best times to travel by car, during the holiday weekend, will be in the morning or evening after 6 p.m. The lightest traffic days will be Saturday and Sunday.
To avoid congestion, INRIX suggests driving during non-peak hours or using alternative routes.