Memorial Day may see record low travel due to COVID-19 concerns

DOT: Labor Day travelers will see increased traffic enforcement, suspended construction

MADISON, Wis. — Memorial Day may see record low travel due to COVID-19 concerns. For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a travel forecast.

An overwhelming majority of Americans may be trading the long weekend trip to the cabin for a staycation in their backyard.

The latest Harris poll finds 95-percent of Americans say they will not travel over the three-day weekend, which is often viewed as the unofficial kickoff to the summer travel season.

That goes hand in hand with predictions from AAA, which shows travel volume this year could plunge to a record low. With COVID-19 still in play, the organization has decided to skip predictions because of the uncertainty.

Last year, 43 million people traveled over the holiday weekend. That was the second-highest level for Memorial Day since AAA started making travel projections.

Memorial Day 2009 set the record for the lowest travel volume at nearly 31 million travelers. That of course came right after the Great Recession of 2008. Travel experts say that mark could easily be smashed this year.

Our nation’s top health leaders continue to recommend that Americans stay home and avoid non-essential travel.

AAA expects to resume making travel projections for late summer and fall as restrictions are eased and businesses reopen. The organization says online bookings for later this summer have been rising since mid-April, which suggests travelers’ confidence is slowly increasing.