**Related Video Above: TSA officials preparing for summer travel season as COVID vaccinations progress.**
CLEVELAND (WJW) — Want to get away? Of course you do. And this year, 60% more Americans are predicted to travel over Memorial Day weekend than last year at that time, AAA reported.
The travel organization said that only 23 million people went on vacation last Memorial Day, which was the lowest ever since 2000, when the company started tracking. However, the predicted increase this year is still set to be about 6 million fewer travelers than seen in 2019.
“As more destinations open and vaccines are administered, we’re seeing an increase in consumers who are ready to get out and enjoy the unofficial start of the summer travel season,” Bevi Powell, senior vice president of AAA East Central said in a statement. “The pent-up demand for travel could also be a sign of things to come this summer, as more people feel comfortable hitting the road and making new memories with family and friends.”
In AAA’s East North Central Region, which includes Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the travel increase is expected to be up by about 57% over the holiday weekend. Broken down by travel method, 5.5 million are expected to roll out of town (at least 50 miles away or more) in a vehicle, while 248,000 are expected to travel by plane.
While things are opening up, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still urges people to travel carefully even if fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, gas prices continue to soar: