Nearly 43 million Americans will be taking a Memorial Day weekend trip. The unofficial start of the summer vacation season, Memorial Day will see the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000, with the highest set in 2005. Compared to last year, an additional 1.5 million people will be traveling on Memorial Day, a 3.6 percent increase.
Most of Memorial Day travelers will be taking trips by automobile: 37.6 million, a record, up 3.5 percent from last year. For air travel, 3.25 million people will be flying, up 4.8 percent from last year. For trains, buses, and cruise ships, 1.9 million people will be traveling, an increase of 3.8 percent over 2018.
For holiday travelers who will drive to their destinations, travel delays on major roads could be more than three times longer than normal during evening commutes.
The top three cities for Memorial Day travel in the nation are Orlando, New York City, and Las Vegas based on advance AAA Travel bookings. The other seven cities on AAA’s top ten list are Orlando, New York, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Anaheim, Seattle, Phoenix, Anchorage, Tampa, and San Francisco.
For travelers planning an international vacation for the Memorial Day weekend, Europe is the most popular choice. Rome, London, Dublin, and Paris are the cities most often chosen, with Vancouver, Canada, completing the top five.
The busiest airport pick-up locations for travelers renting a car this Memorial Day are expected to be Orlando, Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, according to Hertz. The busiest day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Friday, May 24, with an average rental length of nearly five days.
For cities that offer a Memorial Day activity as well as other activities, CNN offers this list, in alphabetical order:
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Columbus, Ohio
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Nantucket, Massachusetts
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Palm Springs, California
- Pensacola and environs, Florida
- Seattle, Washington
- Washington, D.C.
See CNN’s article “Memorial Day Weekend 2019: 10 Best Places to Go in the U.S.” for details about the activities in each community.