IDAHO — Memorial Day travel is expected to come back big this year, with AAA predicting more than 37 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home for a holiday getaway. Locally, 202,000 Idahoans will be among them, a 60% increase from 2020 but 13% less than 2019.
AAA says rising vaccination rates, loosening restrictions and improved consumer confidence will motivate more people to take a vacation.
“There are plenty of signs that the nation is in recovery mode. Unemployment is falling, discretionary debit and credit-card spending are on the rise, and more people are going through TSA screenings at airports,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “Even though we aren’t quite back to 2019 levels, it will still be a busy weekend, especially if you’re traveling through a major metro area or heading into the backcountry on a two-lane highway.”
The Memorial Day travel period is defined as May 27 through May 31, according to AAA, and Thursday afternoon is likely to be one of the busiest times on the road. In addition to state and national parks, AAA says Idahoans are headed to warm-weather destinations like Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando.
Before heading out, AAA suggests looking at the COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and use caution while vacationing this year as the pandemic continues.