UTAH (ABC4) – As folks head out to enjoy Memorial Day weekend festivities, Utah travelers should prepare for holiday headaches including major road traffic, soaring fuel costs and wet weather conditions.

In a new report from the Automobile Association of America (AAA), Memorial Day travel is expected to reach 92% of pre-pandemic levels this year.

Over 39.2 million Americans plan to travel over 50 miles this weekend, steadily increasing from 2021’s travel volume.

“The 8.3% increase will be the second-highest growth in travelers for this holiday weekend since 2010 and will bring total travel volume in line with 2017,” says AAA.

Utah travelers hitting the roads will face potentially dangerous conditions as wet weather is reported to hit the state hard this holiday weekend.

As more countries and cities fully open up post-pandemic, the tourism industry has seen an influx of “revenge travel,” a phenomenon that involves booking all the vacations one missed due to COVID-era restrictions.

AAA says around 34.9 million people plan to hit the roads this weekend, marking a 4.6% increase over 2021. Over three million people are choosing to fly this weekend, marking a 25% increase from 2021.

“Air travel will continue its rapid rebound, growing 25% this year to just over 3 million people,” the study says. “Travel by other modes will triple from last year’s level, with 1.3 million people using transportation like buses, trains and cruise ships.”

(Courtesy of AAA)

Not only will travelers face holiday traffic and increased crowds, but drivers should also prepare to feel the pinch while fueling up at the gas station.

According to AAA, the average price per gallon in Utah as of May 26 is $4.66. That price hits close to the national average of $4.60 per gallon. Fuel prices are expected to jump even higher this holiday weekend.

Travelers heading out this holiday weekend should be prepared to hit a surge in crowds, traffic and fuel prices throughout the nation.

Ways to make holiday travel a little less frustrating include:

  • Researching gas stations with the lowest prices around town before pulling into a random one
  • Hitting the roads during non-peak hours/days
  • Signing up for prepaid toll passes on highways
  • Applying for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry passes to sail through airport security
  • Bringing your own snacks and meals to avoid long lines at eateries during your trip