CT Memorial Day weekend travel to be highest in years. What you need to know.

About 470,000 Connecticut residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more during the Memorial Day weekend, an increase of more than 4% compared with 2023 and the highest number of holiday travelers in nearly 20 years, according to the annual AAA travel forecast.

Road trips will account for 91% of travel for Connecticut residents as the traditional start of the summer travel season kicks off, according to AAA, and will involve 427,000 residents. The number of Connecticut residents planning to drive to their destinations increased 4% compared with 2023, AAA said.

“Despite inflation, we are surpassing pre-pandemic levels and expecting a very busy summer travel season,” said Tracy Noble, a spokeswoman for AAA Club Alliance.

The uptick in travel comes even as gas prices are about 10 cents to 15 cents a gallon higher than 2023, AAA said.

Airports also are bracing for a spike in travel.

Almost 40,000 Connecticut residents are expected to fly, a 4% increase over 2003, and accounting for 8% of the overall number of Connecticut travelers this year, AAA said.

AAA said airfare prices over Memorial Day are fairly comparable to 2023, with AAA booking data showing a 1% to 2% increase in ticket prices. Ticket prices, AAA noted, can vary widely based on fare class, whether a flight is non-stop or requires a layover, and options such as seat selection or carry-on bags that are chosen.

Connecticut residents choosing travel by bus, train or cruise ship are expected to number 5,000, a year-over-year increase of 1%, AAA said.

Across New England, 2 million will travel for the holiday weekend, up 4%, with driving accounting for 91% of travel, AAA said.

AAA offers these travel tips:


  • Planning ahead should include making sure your vehicle road-trip ready. AAA recommends a full vehicle inspection. Make sure to check your battery, fuel system, tires, brakes and fluid levels before hitting the road.

  • Pack a summer emergency kit. Should you experience a breakdown, it is important to have everything on hand to keep you and your passengers safe and comfortable while waiting for help to arrive. The emergency kit should include a fully charged cellphone, additional cellphone charger, jumper cables, first aid kit, flare or flashlight with extra batteries so you can see and be seen, a few extra blankets, water, snacks and extra medicines.

  • Travel at off-peak: For those hitting the road, Thursday and Friday are anticipated to be peak traffic days.


  • Check your flight status before leaving for the airport. Don’t make a wasted trip. Download the airline app and check your flight status before setting out.

  • Get there early. Airports will be crowded. Arrive at the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours for international.
    Understand expectations. Review TSA guidelines for getting through security and pack accordingly. To learn more about which airports have the longest wait times for security visit TheExtraMile.com.

Kenneth R. Gosselin can be reached at kgosselin@courant.com.