Holiday weekend travel rush begins, airport traffic expected to be highest in nearly 20 years

Unofficial start to summer this weekend

Unofficial start to summer this weekend

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the expected travel rush is beginning.

The holiday is the unofficial start to summer, and officials say millions of people will be traveling for what’s expected to be one of the busiest in years.

AAA is predicting roughly 44 million people to travel this weekend, adding more than 3.5 million people will be flying, marking the busiest Memorial Day at the airports in nearly 20 years.

“4% higher than 2023. And frankly, it’s higher than pre-pandemic in 2019 by about 1.5 million people,” said Paula Twindale of AAA.

However, overwhelmingly, those who are getting out of town for the weekend are doing so by taking a road trip.

RELATED: Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year

Ahead of travelers hitting the highways not only this weekend – but all summer – the Biden Administration announced this week it is working to help lower gas prices by releasing 1,000,000 reserved barrels of gasoline between now and the 4th of July.

According to White House, the reserves will be “strategically released” between those dates.

On average, a gallon of gas is $3.62 as of Thursday morning, which is seven cents more than this time last year.

In Minnesota, the average is around $3.34 per gallon.

Experts say if you’re driving this weekend, the best time to do so will be Thursday and Friday, saying roads will likely be congested on Sunday and Monday.

Some scheduled roadwork may cause delays near the Terminal 1 curb this summer, so make sure to give yourself extra time when dropping off or picking up travelers.

CLICK HERE for additional traffic news and HERE for the latest forecast from Minnesota’s Weather Authority. An interactive traffic map showing current conditions can be found below.