Memorial Day Weekend is often referred to as the unofficial start of summer, as many people plan trips to warm weather destinations and enjoy the long weekend.
On Wednesday, AAA released a list of the best and worst times to book a flight or hotel for MDW, in addition to the top destinations for the weekend.
"We’ve seen a notable increase in our travel bookings in early spring, which is a strong indication of what to expect for summer," Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group, said. "Despite inflation and higher gas prices, people want to travel and we believe they will find ways to do so without breaking their budget."
The average domestic flight for the weekend, from Friday through Monday, is about $160 more than 2021. Friday is the cheapest day to travel, and this year, unlike in the past, Saturday is the most expensive.
AAA said that people who book their trips 28-60 days before the holiday weekend spend an average of $470 on travel, but the best time to buy is about two weeks before. Those people pay an average of $445 per airfare ticket.
As expected, those who wait until the last minute and book their trip the week of Memorial Day Weekend could pay up to twice as much.
"Considering the strong demand for travel this year, the best advice is to book your Memorial Day flights early," Adrienne Woodland, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group, said. "While you may pay a little more money up front, you will have more flight options to choose from than those who wait until a couple of weeks before the holiday."
AAA offered four major pieces of advice for people planning their Memorial Day Weekend travel. They suggest travelers should "be flexible" with where and when they embark on their trips. Whether it be a flight, rental car, hotel, or even a tour, AAA says to "book early."
They also recommend traveling "with your bubble" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as many feel more comfortable to vacation with people they have been around. AAA then said to "protect your investment" by purchasing travel insurance just in case something goes awry during your vacation.
According to AAA bookings for flights, tours, car rentals and hotels, the top 10 destinations for Memorial Day Weekend are, in order: Orlando, FL; Seattle, WA; Miami, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Anchorage, AK; Honolulu, HI; Boston, MA; Anaheim, CA; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA.
Some Americans like to take full advantage of Memorial Day Weekend and travel internationally. Some of the top destinations outside of the country include, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Paris, France; Dublin, Ireland; London, England; Amsterdam, Netherlands.
AAA also recommended to use a travel agent to help make your trip stress free.
"Travel advisors are the industry experts with many resources at their disposal to help plan and organize a trip that fits a traveler’s specific needs and budget," Haas said. "They can easily look at a variety of options and scenarios to find deals and savings not always available to the public."