This week, AAA released a report showing Florida and the rest of the nation should expect a busy Memorial Day weekend.

With Americans traditionally using the long weekend to kick off the summer, AAA’s data “shows that reservations for flights, rental cars, cruises and hotels for Memorial Day have more than doubled from last year.”

“We’ve seen a notable increase in our travel bookings in early spring, which is a strong indication of what to expect for summer,” said Debbie Haas, the vice president of travel for AAA and the Auto Club Group. “Despite inflation and higher gas prices, people want to travel and we believe they will find ways to do so without breaking their budget.”

While AAA will release its full Memorial Day travel forecast in the middle of May, it urged holiday travelers to start booking reservations now.

“When looking at the average costs of domestic airfare for each day over Memorial Day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday), flights are skewing about $160 more than last year,” AAA noted. “AAA booking data shows the best time to purchase airfare is about two weeks before Memorial Day, with travelers paying an average of $445 per ticket. However, those travelers who wait to book the week of Memorial Day could end up paying almost twice as much. Flights reserved 28 – 60 days ahead of the holiday are averaging $470 each.

“The most popular air travel day is Friday. Memorial Day is the lightest. In past years, the cheapest day to fly for Memorial Day weekend was consistently Saturday. This year, however, Saturday is the most expensive day to fly. Sunday offers the lowest airfare followed by Friday (an average price of $543 and $596, respectively),” AAA added.

“Considering the strong demand for travel this year, the best advice is to book your Memorial Day flights early,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group. “While you may pay a little more money up front, you will have more flight options to choose from than those who wait until a couple of weeks before the holiday.”

A month out, Florida is expected to have two of the top three domestic travel locations for Memorial Day. Orlando leads the list followed by Seattle, Miami, Las Vegas, Anchorage, Honolulu, Boston, Anaheim, New York and San Francisco.

Kevin Derby
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