A significant rebound in the number of Americans planning to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend is anticipated.
According to AAA Kansas, from May 27 through May 31, more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an increase of 60% from last year when only 23 million traveled, the lowest on record since AAA began recording in 2000.
The expected strong increase in demand from last year’s holiday, which fell during the early phase of the pandemic, still represents 13%—or nearly 6 million—fewer travelers than in 2019.
Motorists hitting the road this week to celebrate the unofficial kick-off to summer will be greeted with the most expensive Memorial Day weekend gas prices since 2014. The national average has stabilized following the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, but pump prices are likely to fluctuate leading up to the holiday weekend. The national gas price average is at $3.04 a gallon. The average in Kansas is a little cheaper, at $2.82 a gallon.
The agency urges those who choose to travel this year to exercise caution and take measures to protect themselves and others as the pandemic continues.
AAA notes that the actual number of holiday travelers could fluctuate as we approach Memorial Day. If there is an increase in reported cases attributed to new COVID-19 variants, some people may decide to stay home, while others may note the strong progress in vaccinations and make last-minute decisions to travel. r.
Another factor contributing to the expected increase in travel this holiday is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recently updated guidance that fully vaccinated people can travel domestically at low risk to themselves, while taking proper precautions. It’s important to keep in mind that some local and state travel restrictions may still remain in place, however.
For travelers who are not vaccinated but choose to travel, CDC recommends that you practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and get tested before and after travel. Whether you are vaccinated or not, remember masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.