CHICAGO — Memorial Day Weekend is expected to be the busiest in three years, according to AAA.
Over the holiday weekend, AAA predicts nearly 1.9 million Illinoisans will travel 50 miles or more from home – a 7% increase over last year. AAA said the figure would bring travel volume almost in line with 2017.
Despite the increase in automobile and airline traffic, traveler Alicia Rivera says she is ready to venture out of the country again for a “mental health relief.”
“We are going on our trip to Italy,” Rivera said. “We were stuck in the house for two years. It’s time to get out.”
Dominic Jereci says he traveled to Italy last year and will do so again this Memorial Day weekend. But Jereci adds that ticket prices this time around have skyrocketed.
“Double,” Jereci said. “But we make the sacrifice.”
According to AAA, the average lowest airfare is 6% more than last year, coming in at $184 a ticket, with Saturday being the most expensive day to fly and Monday the least.
Most travelers are choosing to take the road instead of flying.
AAA predicts more than 1.7 million folks on the highways, with Thursday and Friday being peak traffic days. The automobile agency also states as of May 17, the average price for gasoline in Illinois is $4.83 per gallon.
Previously, Memorial Day travelers found pump prices averaging $3.30 in 2021.
Despite the drastic spike, traveler Fabian Perez said he’s not going to let high prices get him down.
“It’s out of control. There’s no way to really stop it,” Perez said. “All you do is save a little here, a little there. Combine trips and keep going.”