Fasten your seatbelt: If you are planning to hit the road, rails or sky for the long Memorial Day weekend, you may have a bumpy — and crowded — ride. Some 39.3 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home, according to AAA. That’s the largest number since 2005. Here’s what to know before you go.
Kick Off Your Summer Travelby | May 25, 2017
• Allow extra time
AAA estimates a million more road travelers than last year, despite gas prices that are 11 cents per gallon higher. That means plenty of traffic. And online travel agency CheapOair advises allowing at least one extra hour at major metro airports to navigate everything from parking to security screening and luggage handling. Last Memorial Day travelers experienced hour-long waits just in the security lines at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
• Follow the crowds — or don’t
U.S. national parks and theme or amusement parks are hot spots for families. According to AAA, 79 percent of American families are planning road trips this year, a 10 percent increase over 2016, and classic family destinations remain at the top of their list: 51 percent reported they want to check out a national park, as momentum from 2016’s centennial celebration of the national park system continues into this year. Forty percent of those surveyed also reported they will visit a theme park — many of which will kick off the busy summer season starting this weekend.
• Take advantage of last-minute deals
CheapOair’s Tom Spagnola says last-minute fares are available and affordable — as long as travelers are flexible. To plan a summer vacation weekend — now or for later in the season — search for flights that depart on Thursday or
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