AAA Travel: Pandemic expected to suppress Memorial Day travel


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast.

AAA says the annual forecast estimates the number of people traveling over the holiday weekend, but the data would not be accurate due to COVID-19.

Anecdotal reports suggest fewer people will hit the road compared to years past for what is considered the unofficial start of the summer travel season. The annual forecast will return next year.

“Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend – the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.”

According to AAA, Memorial Day of 2009 currently holds the record for the lowest travel volume at nearly 31 million travelers. That holiday weekend, which came toward the end of the Great Recession.

AAA expects to make travel projections for the late summer and fall, assuming states ease travel restrictions and businesses reopen.

Already, there are indications that Americans are ready to plan future vacations.

“The saying goes that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Americans are taking that first step toward their next journey from the comfort of their home by researching vacation opportunities and talking with travel agents,” said Twidale. “We are seeing that Americans are showing a preference and inspiration to explore all that our country has to offer as soon as it is safe to travel.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that Americans stay home and avoid nonessential travel. Americans should heed all official warnings and refer to the latest updates from the CDC and U.S. Department of State to help decrease the spread of COVID-19.

For more information and to get started planning a trip, visit

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