Memorial Day weekend travel will be the busiest it’s been since 2005, with almost 43 million Americans traveling for the long weekend.
More than 37 million of those people will be traveling by car. According to AAA, that’s the biggest number of road-trippers on record.
“We’re seeing increases in all modes of travel — folks going by car, by plane, by train,” said Marie Dodds, director of government and public affairs with AAA Oregon. “Cruise ships are up. Bus traffic is up. But, by far and away, the vast majority are driving to their destinations.”
Oregonians also have big travel plans.
“More than a half a million people in Oregon will be traveling over the long weekend,” Dodds said. That’s about 13% of the state’s population.
Travel for Memorial Day weekend officially starts Thursday, she said.
“The most general time where it will be a bit busier than usual is running from about 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on [Thursday and Friday],” Dodds said. “But, as we say, it’s going to be busy pretty much anytime you go because when you’re looking at 13% of the population traveling, you can expect lots of company.”
AAA expects to send aid to more than 4,000 vehicles in Oregon over the long holiday weekend, Dodds said.
“The big issues are dead batteries, lock outs and flat tires,” she said, “so, one thing we always suggest is that you get your car checked before you head out.
As far as where people are going, a report from AAA shows Seattle is the top Memorial Day travel destination for AAA members in Oregon and Idaho. It’s followed by Phoenix and San Francisco.