1.5M more US Travelers Expected Memorial Weekend: The Worst Times to Drive

1.5M more US Travelers Expected Memorial Weekend: The Worst Times to Drive

Memorial Day weekend is about to kick off, and AAA is reporting that travelers should expect to see about average gas prices compared to last year, but more vehicles on the road.

AAA’s travel experts say that nearly 43 million people will spend the weekend away from home, the second-highest travel volume on record since tracking began back in 2000. The majority will be driving to their destination, around 37 million, with an overall increase of an additional 1.5 million travelers compared with last year, a 3.6% increase.

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects travel delays on major roads could be more than three times longer than normal during evening commutes.

The worst times to travel will in the late afternoon Thursday, May 23 (today) and Friday, May 24 as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip, while New Yorkers and Washington, D.C., could see three times the delay. Below is a chart of the largest metro areas and the projected worst travel times:

Metro AreaWorst Day for TravelWorst Time for TravelDelay Multiplier of Normal Trip
AtlantaThursday, May 234:30 – 6:30 PM2.2x
BostonMonday, May 273:45 – 5:45 PM3.0x
ChicagoFriday, May 243:30 – 5:30 PM1.6x
DetroitFriday, May 242:30 – 4:30 PM1.7x
HoustonSunday, May 262:15 – 4:15 PM1.0x
Los AngelesFriday, May 244:30 – 6:30 PM1.0x
New YorkThursday, May 234:45 – 6:45 PM2.0x
San FranciscoSaturday, May 251:00 – 3:00 PM1.6x
SeattleMonday, May 273:30 – 5:30 PM1.0x
Washington, D.C.Monday, May 273:45 – 5:45 PM3.0x
   Source: INRIX

Top Memorial Day travel destinations
Orlando, New York City and Las Vegas can expect an influx of travelers for the holiday. These are the top destinations in the U.S. this Memorial Day weekend, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. New York, New York
  3. Las Vegas, Nevada
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. Anaheim, California
  6. Seattle, Washington
  7. Phoenix, Arizona
  8. Anchorage, Alaska
  9. Tampa, Florida
  10. San Francisco, California
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