AAA predicts that more than 39 million people across the country will fly or drive on Memorial Day. Some do it early.
Patrick Detwiller flew from New Orleans to Newark, rented a car and drove to Kennebunkport, Maine for a relaxing getaway and returned before the holiday weekend even started. Now he’s starting to notice some backup
“We actually tried to get the week before. We wanted to get there before the schools in the northeast came out, before the traffic got crazy,” Detwiller said. “It happens there, especially like in Boston, you know.”
He said it was busy.
“They were getting ready for the weekend, they were putting down all the flags, stuff like that for the Memorial Day celebration,” he said.
On the bright side, renting a vehicle has become cheaper and easier. Daily car rentals are down 16% from last year.
As for those traveling from Bradley International Airport on Thursday morning, the crowds were bearable.
Two passengers said they had no problem going through the TSA, but the cost is another story. The lowest airfare is still 6% higher than last year.
“Flights are up, I paid way more for this ticket than the last time I went,” Deborah Collett said.
Sharon Stone, from Ventura, Calif., is traveling from the West Coast to see her family.
“It was worth every penny I had to spend to cross the states to come and visit my family,” she said.
Some travelers were driving rather than flying.
“You start adding it all up, so maybe it’s time to enjoy the house,” said Keith Light, of Rhode Island.
“The other thing I’m aware of is other trips I have to do in the next two months, I’m thinking about rationing my time on the road because it’s so expensive,” he said. he adds.
Experts said the busiest travel times on Thursday are 1-8 p.m. and Friday noon-7 p.m., so avoid those times if you can.
Peak time for the return trip is between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Monday.