Memorial Day travel expected to rebound in AZ and the U.S.

Memorial Day travel expected to rebound in AZ and the U.S.
Published: May. 11, 2021 at 7:49 PM MST|Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 6:38 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Americans are showing a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day as more people get the COVID-19 vaccine and consumer confidence grows.

AAA Arizona expects more than 37 million people to travel 50 miles or more from home for the long holiday weekend (May 27 - May 31), an increase of 60% from 2020 when only 23 million traveled, the lowest on record since AAA began tracking travel data in 2000.

“If you choose to travel this Memorial Day, know what to expect at your destination and take measures to protect yourself and others as the pandemic continues,” AAA Arizona spokesperson Aldo Vazquez said.

In Arizona, more than three-quarters of a million people are expected to travel over the next few days, most of them by car.

AAA Arizona estimates:

  • 710,028 will travel on the highways.
  • 51,099 will travel by air.

The busiest travel days will be Thursday and Friday afternoons.

Vasquez said more people traveling is great for the state economy.

”When people are planning their trips this year, they’re either choosing to plan very expensive trips with more luxurious amenities or they’re planning multiple trips at the same time. So, people are looking to spend and they’re looking to spend a little bit more than they normally would because it’s been a long time since a lot of people have been able to get out there and have a little fun,” Vazquez said.

While this year’s numbers still represent 13%—or nearly 6 million—fewer travelers than we saw in 2019, more travelers are a very good thing for Arizona.

Know Before You Go

  • Updated guidance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated people can travel domestically at low risk to themselves with precautions. For travelers who are not vaccinated, the CDC recommends practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask, hand washing, and getting tested before and after travel.
  • Plan ahead. Local and state travel restrictions may remain in place. Check the CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker, municipal and state health departments, and local news for updates on coronavirus cases and continue to do so while on the road. Masks are required on all public transportation, including airports, in and out of the United States.
  • Be prepared. Drivers should ensure their vehicles are road-ready before embarking on a road trip. Visit an auto repair center for a pre-trip inspection.
  • Avoid traffic. The busiest times on the road will be the afternoon of May 27 and May 28. Major metro areas could experience double the travel times compared to a routine trip.
  • Available resources. Visit AAA’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map for local travel information. Use to plan your road trip and help determine which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants, and hotels are open along your route. Use AAA Digital Tourbooks to plan your next trip using AAA’s expert

AAA advises travelers to seek the advice of a knowledgeable travel agent to help plan their trips this summer. To get started and to learn more, visit

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