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Memorial Day travel in Michigan set to exceed pre-pandemic levels

Posted at 6:44 AM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 15:36:12-04

Memorial Day is the first summer holiday for Michiganders, and nearly 1.3 million Michigan residents are expected to travel for the unofficial start to summer, according to AAA Michigan.

According to AAA, the prediction would exceed pre-pandemic levels and be the second-highest travel forecast for Michigan since AAA began tracking numbers in 2000.

The agency reports that 1.29 million people will travel, with 1.17 million traveling by road, more than 69,000 by air and nearly 60,000 in some other form of transportation.

Nationally, AAA projects nearly 43.8 million Americans will travel for Memorial Day weekend, which is the second-highest traveled Memorial Day on record.

“Memorial Day will be the start to a very busy summer of travel,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “American travelers are forecast to surpass pre-pandemic levels, making this the busiest Memorial Day holiday weekend in nearly two decades. The main driver of the projection is strong consumer interest in traveling both domestically and abroad. Interest in traveling internationally is at the highest level in recent years.”

“Traveling by car is appealing for many people because of the convenience and flexibility it provides,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “However, Memorial Day drivers may have to pay more at the gas pump.”

The state average for gas, two weeks before Memorial Day, is $3.64 per gallon. Last year on Memorial Day, the average was $3.60 per gallon.

Here are the best and worst times to travel, according to AAA.

  • Thursday, May 23 - 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (worst times), before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m. (best times)
  • Friday, May 24 - 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. (worst times), before 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m. (best times)
  • Saturday, May 25 - 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (worst times), before 1 p.m. and after 6 p.m. (best times)
  • Sunday, May 26 - 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (worst times), before 1 p.m. (best times)
  • Monday, May 27 - 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (worst times), after 7 p.m. (best times)

The busiest road in Detroit will be eastbound I-94 between Kalamazoo and Detroit