AAA Expects Record Amount of Memorial Day Travelers 

Memorial Day represents the start of summertime for many Americans, who often use the long weekend to hit the road and go on a trip. According to AAA, that statement will ring especially true this year as a record number of travelers will trek across the country over the coming days. Between Thursday and Monday, an estimated 43.8 million people will travel at least 50 miles, marking a four percent increase over 2023. In fact, this weekend could equal the busiest Memorial Day on record, when 44 million people traveled in 2005. 

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” said Paula Twidale, the senior vice president of the travel division at AAA. “We’re projecting an additional one million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, which not only means we’re exceeding pre-pandemic levels but also signals a very busy summer travel season ahead.” Along with packed roads, travelers can also expect crowded airports if they plan to take a plane over the holiday. More than 3.5 million people will fly this weekend, with United Airlines expecting to serve 500,000 flyers from Thursday to Tuesday. 

Car rental companies are also anticipating a big week ahead. Hertz said that the highest demand for rentals will be in Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas and Orlando. AAA recommends that drivers avoid beginning their trips in the afternoon when traffic is at its heaviest, although many travelers cannot get out of work early enough to beat the rush. Public transit systems could also become overwhelmed with travelers in the coming days, so no matter how or where you travel this weekend, be sure to budget plenty of time for your journey.


  1. Do you think it’s a good sign for the economy that a record number of travelers will hit the road for Memorial Day weekend? Why or why not?
  2. How do travelers boost the local economies of tourist cities like Las Vegas and Orlando?

Source: Emily Mae Czachor, “Memorial Day Weekend 2024 Could Break Travel Records. Here’s What to Know,” CBS News, May 20, 2024.