The Auto Club kicks off the summer travel season.

GRASONVILLE, MD (Wednesday, May 22, 2024) — AAA projects an estimated 861,000 Marylanders plan to getaway for the Memorial Day weekend, a 2.7% increase over last year, and the third highest number of Memorial Day weekend travelers since 2000, when AAA began tracking holiday travel. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Thursday, May 23 to Monday, May 27.

This year’s forecast is still nearly 6% less than the state’s all-time high, which was in 2019, when more than 911,000 Marylanders travelled for the holiday, according to Public Relations Manager, Ragina Ali. “It appears Maryland residents are ready to pack up the car, or catch a flight, bus or train to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday weekend.” Ali continued. Automobile Travel Represents Nearly 90%.

AAA is expecting an increase in all travel modes this holiday, but, the vast majority of travelers plan to drive. “Traveling by car remains appealing for many, due to the convenience and flexibility it provides, despite slightly higher gas prices this year,” said Ali. Approximately 761,000 – 88% of Maryland travelers – are expected to hit the roads, an increase of nearly 3% from last year’s holiday, and the third highest travel volume, by car for the holiday, on record. “While the average price of gas across Maryland has dropped about 20 cents in the past month, gas prices remain approximately 8 cents higher than last year at this time,” Ali added.

As of Tuesday, Maryland’s average price for a gallon of unleaded was $3.55, two cents less than last week, and down 21 cents from last month.

Air Travel Continues To Rebound:

Airports are bracing for a spike in travelers. More than 72,000 Maryland travelers are expected to fly to their holiday destinations this Memorial Day, a nearly 2% increase compared to last year, accounting for 8% of those traveling and representing the second highest travel volume by air.

AAA reminds those flying to their holiday destinations to 1. check their flight status before leaving for the airport: 2. Don’t make a wasted trip. 3. Download the airline app and check your flight status before setting out. ” Arrive at the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours for international “, continued Ali.

Travel by Other Modes Continues Growth:

The number of Maryland travelers opting to take other modes continues to grow. Nearly 28,000 are anticipated to take other modes of transportation, including cruises, buses and trains, representing the largest increase (nearly 3.5%). “This category took the biggest hit during the pandemic with fewer people taking public transportation or not cruising at all,” Ali said.