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AAA Carolinas Predicts Busy Memorial Day Weekend On The Roads

According to AAA Carolinas, North Carolinians are forecast to travel in record numbers this Memorial Day weekend. According to AAA’s 2023 Memorial Day Travel Forecast, just over 1.2 million North Carolinians will travel 50 miles or more. That’s nearly 80,000 more than last year and 4,000 more than the year just prior to the pandemic, 2019.

North Carolina auto and air travel numbers are set to reach new record highs. An estimated 1.1 million North Carolinians will drive, that’s 64,000 more than last year. Close to 108,000 are forecast to fly, that’s 11,000 more passengers than last year.

While state holiday travel figures are poised to reach record highs, national travel numbers are still slightly behind pre-pandemic levels. AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend. That’s 2.7 million, or seven percent more than last year, but fewer people than what was reported in 2019 (42.8 million) and 2005 (44 million).

Despite higher ticket prices, air travel demand is increasing. AAA predicts the strongest air travel numbers since 2005. Nearly 3.4 million are expected to fly for the holiday weekend. That’s 33,700, or eleven percent more passengers than last year, and 170,000, or 5.4 percent more than in 2019.

Today (May 26) was scheduled to be the busiest day on the roads, according to published reports. 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 (May 27) and Sunday (May 28).