AAA forecasts a record 107,000 Delaware travelers over Memorial Day weekend

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AAA predicts nearly 107,000 Delawareans, or about 11% of the state’s population, will travel of 50 miles or more this holiday weekend.

That’s nearly seven percent higher than last year and the busiest Memorial Day weekend on record in Delaware (total volume and by all modes of transportation) since AAA started tracking the holiday forecast in 2000.

Nearly 88% of local holiday travelers, or nearly 94,000 will be hitting the roads for the unofficial start to the summer. Auto travel is predicted to be up 6% over 2022.

Air travel is predicted to increase more than 11% over 2022, with more than 9,100 Delawareans expected to fly to their destinations this year.

“The TSA has warned travelers that it expects summer travel numbers at checkpoints to be ‘Comfortably Above’ pre-pandemic levels,” says AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Jana Tidwell. “If the Memorial Day forecast numbers are an indicator for what we can expect for the summer, it could be a very busy season at the airports.”

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The Other Travel Category is also predicted to surpass pre-pandemic numbers, with more than 5,000 Delawareans set to travel by bus, rail or cruise. That’s up more than 11% from last year.

2023 Projected Memorial Day Holiday Travelers – Delaware

NUMBER OF TRAVELERSTotal Population2023 TravelersPercent of population travelingPercent change vs. 2022
NUMBER OF TRAVELERSTotal Population2023 TravelersPercent of population travelingPercent change vs. 2022
Delaware TOTALAuto, Air & Other1,018,396*106,93110.5%+6.8%
Delaware Auto87.6% of people travel by car93,6929.2%+6.2%
Delaware Air 8.5% of people travel by air9,1660.9%+11.3%
Delaware Other(train, bus, cruise, etc.)4.7% of people travel by other modes5,0920.5%+11.1%
     
National TOTAL335 million*42.3 million12.6%+7%
National Auto 87.6% of people travel by car37.1 million11.1%+6%
National Air 8.0% of people travel by air3.4 million1.0%+11%
National Other(train, bus, cruise, etc.)4.4% of people travel by other modes1.8 million0.6%+20.6%

*U.S. Census Bureau

Nationally, 42.3 million Americans are expected to travel for the holiday. That’s 7% higher than 2022, but just a percentage point away from the holiday travel numbers from 2019. National air travel is expected to surpass 2019 numbers with 3.4 million set to take to the skies. That’s up 11% from last year and up 5.4% from 2019.

Travel Times 2023-05-21 184758.png

Nearly 88% of all travel across the nation will be by car. Drivers are finding some relief at the pumps this year. The Delaware gas average (5/22) of $3.43 is down more than a dime in past month and is more than a dollar less than on this day one year ago.

INRIX expects Friday, May 26 to be the busiest day on the roads over the long Memorial Day weekend. The best time to travel by car for those looking to avoid traffic is in the morning or evening is after 6 p.m.

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