BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV)
The Friday before Memorial Day is typically one of the busiest travel days of the year for Americans, and 2019 is expected to be no different.
According to AAA, 42.7 million Americans are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend, 37.6 million by automobile and 3.2 million by air. In all, 3.6% more Americans than last year are expected to hit the roads or the skies.
“The only thing that’s different from last year is really, the volume,” said Nick Jarmusz, Director of Public Affairs, Midwest Region, AAA. “It’s not drastically different, but that’s building off of several years of continuous increases, making this the biggest travel volume we have on record for Memorial Day.”
While most travelers are driving, some are flying, and AAA says, as usual, the most popular U.S. destinations are major cities with popular attractions.
“Orlando, New York, Las Vegas, also out in California, anywhere where there (are) beaches and amusement parks and theme parks are pretty popular destinations,” Jarmusz said.
Fox World travel consultant Paula Bursa says while warm weather destinations like the Caribbean or Hawaii are always popular on Memorial Day weekend, the most noticeable difference she’s seen this year is a spike in European destinations.
“(We’ve) definitely seen a 30% increase in our Europe travel this year,” Bursa said. “Our top European destinations being London, Germany, and Italy… I think people want to try something new. They want to get out and experience something besides your basic all-inclusive vacation.”
In fact, one of those European travelers from Northeast Wisconsin is Local 5 This Morning Reporter Calvin Lewis, who says the Memorial Day weekend provides a good opportunity to reconnect with family.
“I am going to England with family for my cousin’s wedding, and we’re gonna be there for about week and a half,” Lewis said Friday morning. “Every year we always try and go somewhere, and Memorial Day has always been sort of a weekend for us to go and travel.”
Jarmusz told Local 5 a good economy is driving Americans’ decisions to travel for the weekend.
“Americans love to travel, and Memorial Day is that traditional kickoff, their first chance to get that summer road trip in,” Jarmusz said. “If they have the means to travel, they are going to do so.”