Millions of Americans expected to travel for Memorial Day weekend

NOW: Millions of Americans expected to travel for Memorial Day weekend

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Millions of Americans are expected to travel for Memorial Day weekend.

AAA predicts more than 37 million people will travel 50 miles or more, which is up 60 percent from 2020.

This comes as the country is seeing the highest gas prices in years. GasBuddy attributes the increase in price to an uptick in demand, while producers work to get back to pre-pandemic supply. Prices will be more expensive for Wisconsin travelers crossing some state lines.

“If you’re heading south to Chicago, you’ll want to fill up in Kenosha before crossing over to Chicago,” GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick De Han said.

AAA says it’s important to be prepared as you leave home.

"Folks are still going to travel. So they'll just figure out another way of trying to save money. Maybe they won't eat out as often or they'll look for more free activities while they're on their vacation,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said.

AAA said construction projects will be suspended in Illinois and Wisconsin, but there could still be lane closures.

“So it is still important to use caution as you’re heading through those construction zones," said Nick Jarmusz, AAA director of public affairs for Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. "Even though you don’t see workers, slow down.”

If you’re traveling by plane, experts say get to the airport early. The Transportation Security Administration predicts a pandemic record of 2 million travelers.

General Mitchell Airport also expects an increase in flights from last year.

They are projecting 13 thousand passengers Friday, and another 13 thousand Saturday, before air travel drops off a bit Sunday and Monday.

“Masks are required in the building," General Mitchell Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Stephanie Staudinger said. "You’ll see the signs when you come in. If you don’t have one, the airport information desk has some available.”

UW Health is advising travelers to be mindful that many of the people they could be gathering with will either be partially vaccinated, or not vaccinated.

“Where we’re mixing vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or fully vaccinated individuals together, we’re saying hey, an outdoor gathering is probably the safest thing you can do at that point,” UW Health Senior Director of Primary Care Dr. Matt Anderson said.

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