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2021 Memorial Day travel: AAA predicts surge

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AAA is forecasting a 60 percent increase in travelers this Memorial Day.

CLEVELAND — Editor’s note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

More than a year removed from the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, AAA is anticipating a significant rise in travel this Memorial Day.

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According to a release, AAA is forecasting that 37 million people nationwide will travel 50 miles or more away from their home during the holiday weekend, which will culminate with Memorial Day on Monday, May 31. That figure marks an increase of 60 percent from a year ago, when the country was just two months into the pandemic with many states having travel restrictions in place.

In 2020, only 23 million people traveled for Memorial Day, which marked the lowest number since AAA began tracking travel in 2000. While this year’s forecast shows a dramatic increase from a year ago, 60 million travelers would still represent a 13 percent drop from 2019. AAA also noted that the number of travelers this year could fluctuate and urged those traveling to exercise caution amid the ongoing pandemic.

“As more destinations open and vaccines are administered, we’re seeing an increase in consumers who are ready to get out and enjoy the unofficial start of the summer travel season,” Bevi Powell, senior vice president, AAA East Central, said in a release. “The pent-up demand for travel could also be a sign of things to come this summer, as more people feel comfortable hitting the road and making new memories with family and friends.”

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