Surging Economy Could Boost Summer Travel, Starting With Memorial Day

May 24, 2019

With unemployment at historic lows, a busy Memorial Day could portend a summer filled with travel.
Credit Roadsidepictures / Flickr

The summer travel season kicks off this long weekend with Memorial Day. The surging economy could not only prompt big crowds on the roads this weekend, but the entire summer.

Unemployment is at a 50-year low. Pair that with big year-over-year growth for every major holiday, and Matthew Conde with AAA Idaho says a perfect summer travel storm could be brewing.

“This is a signal of something that could be very, very active this year,” Conde says. “Memorial Day may be just the opening salvo as we head into – especially – the Fourth of July. Right now it’s looking like it’s going to be all signs pointing to economic growth, more money in people’s pockets. That usually translates to more travel.”

Conde says nationwide, some 43 million people will travel over the holiday weekend – 230,000 of them will be Idaho residents. With near record-setting travel volume over the next few days, Conde is warning drivers to build in some extra time to their trips.

“We’re telling people to anticipate spending an extra ten or twelve percent on their travel time,” says Conde. “The nice thing is that gas prices appear to be leveling off. Since May 15, they’ve actually held around $3.20 here in Idaho.”

If you’re leaving Friday afternoon or evening, Conde says you’ve likely missed the worst of the traffic. He says more and more people are front-loading long holiday weekends and taking off Wednesday and Thursday.

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