Buckle Up for Memorial Day Traffic Surge

PHOENIX — As travelers prepare for Memorial Day weekend, officials are emphasizing preparation for what is projected to be one of the busiest in more than two decades.

According to AAA, at least 922,000 people will travel this Memorial Day weekend. If the projections come true, that would be at least 30,000 more travelers during a Memorial Day weekend since 2005.

Of those traveling, authorities predict that 800,000 people will drive, 73,700 will fly and the rest will choose other forms of transportation.

“Travel has increased steadily since the pandemic, and this year seems to be true as well,” said Julián Paredes of AAA Arizona. KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Here’s what Arizona travelers should keep in mind

Arizonans must remain proactive, patient and prepared.

For travelers hitting the road, experts advise drivers to avoid peak travel days: Thursdays and Fridays. Drivers must leave before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

For air travel, AAA recommends that travelers arrive two hours before departure time. Parking reservations are also helpful when parking lots fill up quickly.

“(There’s) extra congestion, more traffic, road rage is definitely a factor…I think it’s really just giving yourself extra time to not be stressed,” Parades said.

“Take your trip at your own pace and don’t let the small details get to you. “If you just give yourself a little extra time, plan for delays and things like that, it really helps people adapt to any situation, even when things become unexpected.”

With gas prices in Arizona 16% lower than last Memorial Day weekend, drivers should be sure to look for cheaper fuel options when planning their trip.

Finally, as AAA prepares for nearly 380,000 road service calls nationwide, the nonprofit said pre-trip inspections always help prevent breakdowns.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Shira Tanzer contributed to this story.

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