MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It is Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial kickoff to the summer. Many are traveling this holiday.
Whether they are driving or flying to their destination, experts say travelers should prepare to see some backups. AAA discussed why and offered a look at the prices at the pumps.
Some are feeling the busyness of the Memorial Day weekend already. Roads are expected to be backed up especially on Friday. That is because it is expected to be the busiest travel day of the week.
“AAA is expecting record number of travelers here in Tennessee,” said Megan Cooper, AAA Spokesperson.
AAA said they are expecting about 882,000 travelers with the majority being drivers. That is about 751,000 people hitting the roads in Tennessee.
"We are a year or so out of the pandemic, so we are seeing a lot less travel restrictions this year than we have seen in previous years," Cooper said. "We're seeing international travel have really started to heat up for the year.”
That international travel is driving up car rentals here and abroad.
“We're expecting to see above pre pandemic travel numbers in both our total travelers and those that are flying to their destination,” said Cooper. “These are trips that have likely been re plans and are likely to the first international trips in a couple of years for most people.”
With more people driving in Tennessee, many are wondering about prices at the pump.
“We are up slightly compared to where we were at the first of the week, however, compared to the gas prices that we were seeing at this time last year, we are $1 cheaper than what we were paying last summer,” said Cooper.
Last year, people paid about $4.27 a gallon. This year, it is about $3.19.
“That's a nice chunk of change back that you can use on something a little bit more fun than just filling up your car to get to your destination,” said Cooper.
That stretches the dollar for miles of adventure.
Here is what else you need to know: AAA said Memorial Day is a good indication for how summer travel will look. With that in mind, if you are planning any trips this summer, book ahead and give yourself extra time to get to your destinations.