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What to expect as travelers hit the road for Memorial Day weekend

This will be the fourth busiest Memorial Day weekend in Ohio with 1.6 million people traveling.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Memorial Day weekend —the unofficial start of summer—is here! AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, a 7% increase over 2022.

Locally, Ohioans are expecting to see the fourth busiest Memorial Day travel, with more than 1.6 million people traveling more than 50 miles for the holiday, according to AAA.

Memorial Day road trips are up 6% over last year. More than 37 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of more than 2 million.

"In terms of air travel, that's up 11%, which is really kind of remarkable when you think about the fact that airfare is up like more than 40%, so those prices aren't stopping people, I mean, they just want to get out and go," said Bill Purpura, a spokesperson for AAA. 

Memorial Day Road Trip Tips from AAA

1.     Highways will be busy with nearly 9 in 10 Memorial Day holiday travelers driving to their destinations. Pack your patience, and expect traffic congestion, especially during peak travel times – Thursday and Friday evening and Monday and Tuesday evenings during the holiday weekend.

2.     Plan it out, because a road trip is not just about going from point A to point B. To make the most of your travels, research points of interest along the way, think about where you might stop for meals or an overnight stay, if necessary, and identify those options that best suit your budget. 

3.     Gas prices are much lower than a year ago, when the state and national averages were ramping up to all-time record levels reached in June 2022. Cheaper prices at the pump will make filling up less of a burden to the bank account.

4.     Make sure your vehicle is road trip ready by getting it in for a check-up, including your vehicle’s tires, battery and fluids. 

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