Uptick in travel expected for Texas this Memorial Day Weekend

AAA Texas said it is expecting 3.5 million Texans to travel at least 50-miles during the three day holiday weekend
KBTX News 3 at Six Weekday EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 9:00 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Experts predict the upcoming Memorial Day will be a busy travel period, especially across the state of Texas.

Memorial Day is typically regarded as the unofficial “start of summer” with many people packing bags to go on vacation. AAA Texas said it is expecting 3.5 million Texans to travel at least 50 miles during the three-day holiday weekend. In fact, AAA Texas said while Friday has normally been the biggest driving day for travelers, this year many drivers hit the road on Thursday. Friday is still expected to be busy with Tuesday the busiest.

Daniel Armbruster, senior public affairs specialist at AAA Texas, said in terms of overall travel volume, Texas has one of the highest.

“This will the second highest travel that Texas will have seen since 2000 for Memorial Day,” Armbruster said. “So it’s going to be very busy for people whether on the roadways, at the airports, or even the cruise port. Cruise bookings are up 50% over last year.”

The reason for the uptick is because of the pent-up demand caused by the pandemic, Armbruster said.

“Now we see there’s no travel restrictions, no testing requirements, things of that nature because the pandemic has passed, so a lot of people are getting back out,” Armbruster said. “International travel bookings are up 250% over last year.”

In the Lonestar state, some of this year’s travel hotspots include Galveston, Corpus Christi, and Port Aransas, Armbruster said.

“When we look at it domestically here in the United States, New York City is the top destination this Memorial Day,” Armbruster said. “Las Vegas is also on there, Denver, Boston, and Anaheim, California where Disney is. Internationally, a lot of that is in Europe. Rome, Paris, Dublin, Barcelona, and Athens are all top places to go.”

Here in Bryan-College Station, Destination Bryan said it’s a time for the locals to get reintroduced to their backyard.

“Lake Bryan is a great place to go,” said Abigail Noel, Destination Bryan PR and communications manager. “You can rent paddle boards or canoes, kayaks, and different things like that. Just a good way to get out of the heat in some water. Then our local downtown Bryan businesses and all our Bryan businesses are really excited for visitors to come down for the weekend.”

Experts recommend those planning to travel should make sure their vehicle is properly maintained.

“The top reason we will see roadside rescues of more than 19,000 here in Texas this weekend alone for AAA will be dead batteries, flat tires, and engine problems,” Armbruster said. “Whether it’s this weekend or this summer, keep this in mind because vehicle maintenance is very important.”

Armbruster said AAA Texas expects rising travel levels to continue into summer, so it’s best to plan early and book early.

“Not only will that probably save you some time, but it will also save you some headache because the longer you wait you’re going to have a harder time find finding space on planes, hotels, etc.,” Armbruster said.