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Memorial Day weekend results in surge of travelers hitting the road

Posted at 6:28 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 18:28:51-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With restrictions lifting, coronavirus cases down and vaccinations up, a lot of people are taking advantage of the holiday to getaway.

AAA predicts about 37 million Americans will travel over the next five days.

It’s a sharp increase compared to 23 million travelers in 2020 when the United States was in the early months of the pandemic.

“A lot of people are taking last year’s travel budget that went unspent and putting it along with this year’s. They’re taking longer trips and more extravagant and luxurious trips. So there will probably be more people out on the roads,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins with AAA Blue Grass. “We’re actually expecting about a 60% increase in the number of people that are traveling.”

Around mid-afternoon, travelers on I-75 Southbound witnessed some of the trend in action when traffic backed up for miles.

“I’m going north, so it’s a lot better than going south. It hasn’t been too bad, but I’m going to turn around and come back this evening and I’m expecting it to be pretty bad,” said Gordon Air, who is spending his holiday at Campton Lake.

Delays in traffic are to be expected this weekend, according to Weaver Hawkins.

So are higher gas prices.

“That’s not unusual around a holiday because of the increased demand, and I think we’re going to see that gas prices will continue to fluctuate,” Weaver Hawkins said.

Weaver Hawkins also said it’s important to make sure if you plan to travel by car, that your vehicle is in good condition.

“Make sure those wipers are working before you head out and get a surprise that you need to replace them. So make sure those are newly replaced and make sure your tires have a lot of tread on them. The last thing we advise people is just slow down,” she said.