AAA forecasts a major rebound in Memorial Day Weekend travel this year

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Posted at 8:19 AM, May 11, 2021

AAA is forecasting a dramatic rebound in Memorial Day Weekend travel from 2020, when travel numbers hit all-time lows.

According to AAA Travel, more than 37 million Americans are expected to hit the road or fly to destinations between May 27-31 this year. That's up 60% from 2020, when travel declined sharply amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major reason for the expected boost in Memorial Day Weekend travel is the increase in the number of people who have gotten the COVID19 vaccine. The CDC's most recent guidance for fully vaccinated travelers plays into this.

According to the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated for COVID can travel domestically at very low risk of spreading the virus, provided they take proper precautions and adhere to other guidance on masks and social distancing.

Nine out of ten Americans plan to drive to their Memorial Day destination.

The vast majority of Memorial Day Weekend travelers expected to go more than 50 miles away from home will be taking a road trip. In fact, AAA says more than 90% of travelers will drive this year.

About 2.5 million Americans are booking flights for Memorial Day trips. That's about 750,000 fewer people than pre-pandemic travel but dramatically higher than 2020, where only 350,000 travelers took to the skies.

AAA travel says the following spots are the top five destinations for road trips and flights this year, based on booking data:

Road Trips:
1. Las Vegas
2. Orlando
3. Myrtle Beach
4. Denver
5. Nashville

AAA Travel Bookings:
1. Orlando
2. Las Vegas
3. Honolulu
4. Anchorage
5. Colorado Springs