AAA projects Memorial Day travel to be up 60% from last year, still down from 2019

"Significant rebound" will still fall short of pre-pandemic levels.
Travelers on I-95 in Miami, Fl., May 27

The American Automobile Association is projecting a huge spike in Memorial Day weekend travel compared to last year, though the number will still come in short of 2019's pre-pandemic levels. 

The agency in a news release this month predicted that from May 27 through May 31, "more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an increase of 60% from last year when only 23 million traveled."

The association said the 2020 figure was "the lowest on record since AAA began recording in 2000."

"The expected strong increase in demand from last year's holiday, which fell during the early phase of the pandemic, still represents 13%—or nearly 6 million—fewer travelers than in 2019," AAA said. 

Governors and other public officials in recent weeks have been rapidly rolling back various COVID-19 mitigation measures that have been in place for the past year—including mask mandates and capacity limits—as vaccinations increase and daily cases and deaths continue to drop.