Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and Californians are expected to kickoff the unofficial start of summer in record numbers.
According to AAA’s first travel forecast of the summer, nearly 5.2 million Californians are projected to travel over the upcoming three-day weekend. This is an increase of 5.3 percent from last year and the highest number on record for the holiday. AAA projects that 41.5 million Americans will travel nationwide, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years.
“The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Californians all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season.”
By the Numbers: Memorial Day Travel Forecast
- 2018 will be the seventh straight year of state growth and fourth consecutive year of nationwide growth during the holiday period.
- More than 4.3 million Californians will drive to their destinations, an increase of 5.2 percent over last year.
- Nearly 528,000 Californians are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 7.5 percent over last year.
For those traveling by car, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metros, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip.
Although these travel times might look daunting, be glad you're not driving through the core of the Big Apple: The largest delay in the nation is expected to occur in New York City, where a normal 23-minute commute on I-95 West is predicted to take 2 hrs & 18 minutes, 506% higher than normal.