AAA Travel warns of high travel volumes this Memorial Day weekend as Georgia air travel numbers are expected to reach a new record high.
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 2022 and 13,000 more than before the pandemic, in 2019.
An estimated 1.2 million Georgians will drive, which is 70,000 more than in 2022. Meanwhile, 114,000 are forecast to fly, which is 12,000 more passengers than last year’s holiday.
Vice President of Travel for AAA, Debbie Haas said in a press release, "despite various inflationary pressures, consumer spending is strong."
“Americans still want to travel. Because of that, we’ve seen demand come roaring back, just shy of pre-pandemic levels in Georgia,” she said.
Overall National Travel Figures are Third Highest for the holiday, despite state holiday travel figures set to reach record highs. National travel numbers are still slightly behind pre-pandemic levels. Click here to read the full report.
AAA booking data shows a 40% increase in airfares to this year’s top destinations. 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 is 33,700 or 11% more passengers than 2022 and 170,000 or 5.4% more than in 2019.
Memorial Day road trips are up 6% from last year. An estimated 37.1 million Americans are projected to drive to their destinations, according to AAA. That’s 2 million more than 2022, but 500,000 fewer than 2019 numbers. Driving remains the preferred mode of transportation for 88% of holiday travelers.
Gas prices have moved lower in recent weeks, however, AAA said it is too early to know if that downward trend will continue in the lead-up to the summer kick-off. It is unlikely that prices will come anywhere near the state average that holiday travelers paid last year of $4.13 per gallon.
May 26 is expected to 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.