Brace for a Memorial Day weekend travel boom
If you're planning to leave Central Ohio this Memorial Day weekend, add some wiggle room for traffic and delays into your travel plan.
Why it matters: AAA estimates this will be one of Ohio's busiest Memorial Day weekends ever, with more than 1.6 million Ohioans traveling over 50 miles — a 6% increase over last year.
The big picture: That's in line with a national increase of 7%, with some 2.3 million more people traveling compared with 2022, writes Axios' Sareen Habeshian.
By the numbers: 11% more Ohioans are expected to fly to a destination this year and 5% more are expected to drive, per AAA.
- Columbus metro residents trend slightly higher, at 13% and 6%.
Yes, but: Driving may be the way to go. The average price of gas in the Columbus area was $3.51 per gallon yesterday, according to AAA.
- That's down from $4.43 per gallon this week last year.
- Meanwhile, airfare to top destinations is up 40% from 2022.
Zoom in: John Glenn International Airport is expected to be frenetic, with the holiday weekend marking the unofficial start of summer for many travelers.
- The airport projects 15,200 average daily departing airline seats over May 26-29, up 10% from 2022.
Meanwhile, with major local events happening — the Memorial Tournament, the Asian Festival, Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival and Buckeye Country Superfest — Central Ohio will be a bustling destination in its own right.
Be smart: Friday is expected to be the busiest day on the roads, according to transportation data tracker INRIX.
- The best times to travel by car are early morning or after 6pm.
- Traffic incidents typically increase 10% over Memorial Day weekend, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation, so stay focused, buckle up and obey the speed limit.
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