BOISE, Ida. — AAA Idaho says travelers in the Treasure Valley should prepare now for significant traffic on the road and in the air this Memorial Day weekend.
AAA is anticipating 43 million Americans will kick off their summer with a Memorial Day getaway. It's expected to be the second highest travel volume on record since AAA started tracking holiday travel volumes, second only to the bar set in 2005. Overall, an additional 1.5 million more people will take to the nation's roads, rails and runways compared to last year, a 3.6% increase.
A vast majority will hit the road with 37.6 million expected to drive to their destination, a record for the holiday and 3.5% more than in 2018. 3.25 million are expected to fly while 1.9 million will travel by train, bus or cruise ship. AAA says gas prices have increased by more than 30 cents in the last two months, but it isn't keeping drivers away from travel plans. One expert says drivers will likely shorten the distance of their road trips, eat out less, or look for free activities to offset the costs.
The worst travel days depend on your starting location, with late afternoon on Thursday, May 23, and Monday, May 27, coming in as the worst times to head out or head home. The Treasure Valley has seen rapid growth, meaning travelers in Idaho should prepare for heavy traffic and some delays.
"We know that 230,000 Idahoans are going to be traveling and roughly 88 percent of those will be on the roads," according to AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Matthew Conde.
AAA recommends making your travel plans well ahead of your trip. Delays in busy metro areas will likely start Wednesday and continue through Memorial Day. One transportation analyst suggests trying to avoid the morning and evening commutes or plan alternate routes.