Memorial Day weekend travel is always insane. Anyone who has ever experienced it knows that you need a significant supply of intestinal fortitude to get through travel plans on that crazy hectic weekend.

But this year, Memorial Day weekend travel is going to be more frenzied than ever. You have a combination of things happening: The first post-pandemic summer where people feel very comfortable traveling.

Also, the airline mask mandates going away.

Apparently, millions of Americans chose not to fly if they were forced to wear masks on airplanes. We can’t forget to include the general feeling in the air as a result of the pandemic that life is too short. So many people realize “someday” could very well be today and want to make their bucket list dreams come true now.

Source Adobe Stock By Oleg
Source Adobe Stock By Oleg

And while in the past you might have decided to book your Memorial Day weekend travel at the beginning of May or even mid-May, this year you’ve got to start early. And when I say early, I mean now.

AAA wants you to know that things are already ramping up for Memorial Day weekend. Reservations for flights, rental cars, cruises, and hotels for the weekend are up 122% nationally over last year. And, just to add to the chaos, the average cost of airfares for each day over Memorial Day weekend is about $160 more this year.

This means that if you’re waiting for a last-minute deal, you’re gonna pay the price — to the tune of an average of $845 per flight.

Interestingly, AAA also advises that even though Saturday is traditionally the cheapest day to fly on Memorial Day weekend, this year Saturday is going to be the most expensive.

Source Adobe Stock By stockphotokae
Source Adobe Stock By stockphotokae

We’ve been experiencing some cooler days around New Jersey recently and so somehow it doesn’t feel like the official start of summer, Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner. But it’s less than six weeks away.

If price is no object, you can probably afford to wait around a little longer. But with the price of gas going up and inflation being what it is, most of us are looking to stay within a budget. So get on the phone with your travel agent or hop on the Internet NOW to start booking and you might be able to find some deals that aren’t truly budget busters.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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