More travel expected for Memorial Day 2021

(CBS Newspath) – By air or by land, more Americans are traveling as vaccination rates increase and pandemic restrictions ease. Travel predictions are up significantly over last year for the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday weekend.

AAA predicts 34.4 million people will be driving to their destination during the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. That’s compared to 22.6 million last year. The top destinations have sun, sand, and serenity in common, like beaches and national parks.

Drivers may feel the pinch at the pump. The national average price for gas is more than $3 per gallon.

Renting a car will cost a lot more than just gas. There’s high demand and low supply because many companies reduced their fleets during the pandemic. A recent estimate for a rental car in Florida was $441 a day, according to CBS News senior travel adviser Peter Greenberg. Experts say reserve early, be flexible with your dates, book at a local rental place and not at an airport, or find alternatives like public transit.

Air travel is also up. The TSA says it screened more than 1.8 million passengers Sunday (5/16), a number that hasn’t been seen since March 2020. “We’re expecting that families will continue to travel, and we think that this trend will move all the way through the summer,” says Shane Carter, a spokesperson at Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Health experts say airline passengers can feel confident about ventilation on planes. “The air is completely exchanged about every three minutes, which is better than in some, you know, medical settings,” says CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent Jon LaPook.

Make sure to check out the local COVID-19 restrictions of your travel destination.

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