Orlando top vacation destination, followed by New York City and Las Vegas
The American Automobile Association is predicting that nearly 43 million Americans will start their 2019 summer season with a Memorial Day weekend getaway. This long holiday weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer vacation season, will see the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes dating back to 2000, trailing only the bar set in 2005. Overall, an additional 1.5 million more people will take to the nation's roads, rails and runways compared with last year, a 3.6% increase.
AAA says that despite rising national gas price averages that are inching closer to the $3 per gallon mark, the vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations. For these motorists, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects travel delays on major roads could be more than three times longer than normal during evening commutes.
"Americans are eagerly anticipating the start of summer, and expensive gas prices won't keep them home this Memorial Day weekend," said Paula Twidale, vice president, AAA Travel. "Consumer spending remains strong, helped by solid job and income growth. Families continue to prioritize spending their disposable incomes on travel, and near-record numbers of them are looking forward to doing just that for Memorial Day."
2019 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast
Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers - 37.6 million - will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 3.5% more than last year.
Planes: 3.25 million people will take to the skies, 4.8% more than last year, second only to 2005.
Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 3.8% to 1.9 million passengers.
Top 10 Memorial Day travel destinations
These are the top destinations in the U.S. this 2019 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