More Than 936,000 New Jerseyans Will Travel over Memorial Day Weekend, with 92% undeterred by record gas prices; Tips

AAA is projecting that more than 936,000 New Jersey residents will travel a distance of 50 miles or more over the Memorial Day Weekend and, as usual, the large majority will be driving to their destinations, though air travel and travel by other modes of transportation are both up significantly compared to last year.

Approximately 92% of travelers will be hitting the road for the holiday, up about 5% compared to last year despite record high gas prices. While the increase in auto travel is notable given the pain at the pump, a sharp jump in air travel and travel by other modes of transportation suggests gas prices may be motivating some travelers to consider alternatives to driving.

“The roads will be as crowded as they have been over the Memorial Day holiday since before the pandemic but airports, train stations and bus depots will also be extremely busy so travelers should plan accordingly,” says Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

In fact, air travel is up more than 23% over Memorial Day weekend last year, with AAA projecting that more than 61,000 New Jerseyans will to take to the skies. And, travel by other modes of transportation, which was slowest to recover from the pandemic, is up over 215% over last year, with 15,000 New Jerseyans training, busing or cruising to their holiday destinations.

AAA National Travel Projections

The increase in the number of New Jersey residents traveling over the Memorial Day holiday mirrors national projections.

From May 26 through May 30, more than 39 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an increase of more than eight percent over last year. And, most of those traveling – more than 35 million – will be hitting the road.

More than 3 million will be flying to their destinations, an increase of almost 25% over last year – but still slightly below pre-pandemic air travel. And, the most significant increase over last year is the number of holiday travelers going by train, bus or cruise line – more than 1.3 million, which is an increase of almost 200% over last year.

AAA Tips for Every Travelers

“Whether you will be driving, flying or taking some other mode of transportation over the holiday weekend, planning ahead is key to ensuring your best travel experience,” Noble adds.


  • Make sure your vehicle is road-ready: For the 1.6 million New Englanders planning to hit the road, planning ahead should include making sure your vehicle road-trip ready. AAA recommends a full vehicle inspection. Make an appointment today for a free bumper to bumper check up at the AAA Car Care, Insurance and Travel center in Southington or find a trusted mechanic at any AAA Approved Auto Repair. If you prefer DIY, make sure to check your battery, fuel system, tires, brakes and fluid levels before hitting the road.
  • Make sure your AAA membership is up to date: The Memorial Day weekend will be no holiday for AAA. Our Emergency Roadside Service crews are gearing up for an extremely busy weekend. AAA expects to respond to more than 6,800 calls for help between Thursday and Monday – just in New Jersey alone.
  • Pack a summer emergency kit: Should you experience a breakdown, it is important to have everything on hand to keep you and your passengers safe and comfortable while waiting for help to arrive. The emergency kit should include a fully charged cellphone, additional cellphone charger, jumper cables, first aid kit, flare or flashlight with extra batteries so you can see and be seen, a few extra blankets, water, snacks and extra medicines.
  • Travel at off-peak: For those hitting the road, Thursday and Friday are anticipated to be peak traffic days.


Worst Time

Best Time



Before 6:00am or After 9:00pm



Before 7:00am or After 9:00pm



Before 10:00am



Before 10:00am



Before 11:00am

Source: INRIX


  • Check your flight status before leaving for the airport: Don’t make a wasted trip. Download the airline app and check your flight status before setting out.
  • Get there early: Airports will be crowded. Arrive at the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours for international.
  • Understand expectations: Review TSA guidelines for getting through security and pack accordingly. Also, remember that masks are still required in some airports and on some flights to international destinations. AAA encourages all travelers to abide by CDC guidelines.
  • If possible, travel off-peak: Based on AAA booking data, Thursday is shaping up to be the busiest day for air travel during the Memorial Day travel period with Monday being the lightest.


To learn more about which airports have the longest wait times for security visit

All modes of transportation:

  • Consider Travel Insurance: Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Talk to a trust travel advisor about the travel insurance policy that would cover you if your weekend getaway does not go as planned.
  • Book everything in advance: Flights, car rentals, accommodations, tours, cruises and other activities are in high demand and availability will be limited. Prices are already skewing higher and with greater demand, finding last-minute deals is unlikely.
  • Be Flexible and Patient: Whether you are driving, flying or going by some other mode of transportation, expect crowds, expect delays and plan accordingly. Staffing in airports at hotels and in restaurants continues to be a challenge. Pack your patience.
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