Weather Alert

Memorial Day travel numbers projected to be up

DES MOINES — The holiday weekend ahead is projected to be one of the busiest for Iowa’s highways in many months.

Meredith Mitts, a spokeswoman for AAA Iowa, says they’re predicting more than 37-million people nationwide will be traveling over the three-day Memorial Day weekend.

Mitts says, “That’s still 14% below pre-pandemic levels but a significant step in the right direction toward traveling.”

There’s “pent-up demand” for travel this weekend, as Mitts says there’s growing confidence with more people getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Most of the people who are planning on hitting the road for Memorial Day are hitting the road,” Mitts says. “They are going to be taking road trips and we are expecting about 34-million Americans, which is a 52% increase over 2020.”

That expected 34-million travelers figure compares to the 23-million who were vacationing last Memorial Day weekend. The motor club is also projecting nearly two-and-a-half million Americans will be boarding planes this weekend. That’s nearly six times more than last year.

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