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    Thursday, June 20, 2024

    Memorial Day travelers in Conn. and beyond to reach near-record level this weekend, AAA says

    A near-record number of Americans are expected to travel to destinations at least 50 miles away this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Northeast.

    The auto club is predicting that 43.8 million Americans will travel from May 23 to 27, including 1.98 million New England residents. Those projections represent a 4 percent increase in travelers in each category, AAA said.

    "We're expecting to see plenty of traffic on the roads and in the skies this Memorial Day weekend," said Alec Slatky, managing director of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast. "We're projecting an additional 1 million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, which not only means that we're moving beyond pandemic-era lulls, but also signals a very busy summer travel season ahead."

    According to AAA, 38.4 million people will travel by car over the weekend, which is the highest number projected since tracking began in 2000. It represents an increase of 4 percent from last year and 1.9 percent from 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic reduced travel.

    Traffic will be worse during the afternoon hours, according to AAA. Travelers will mix with commuters to cause the worst congestion between noon and 6 p.m. on Thursday, and noon and 7 p.m. on Friday, AAA said. Similarly, 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday and Monday will be busy times to travel as well, AAA said.

    Around 3.5 million people are expected to fly over the holiday weekend, an increase of 4.8 percent from last year and 9 percent from 2019, the auto club said. AAA said 2 million people are expected to travel by other means, including bus, train and cruise.

    Booking data shows the most popular destinations within the country this year are Orlando, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle, Boston, New York City and Anchorage, Alaska, AAA said.

    Internationally, travelers have booked trips to Rome, London, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona and Vancouver, AAA said.

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