Where Americans Are Traveling This Memorial Day Weekend—And the Destinations That Still Have Cheap Flights
Memorial Day Weekend—the unofficial kickoff to summer travel—is nearly upon us. And this year, more Americans are planning to travel than in recent memory: Travel organization AAA says the holiday is “expected to be the third busiest Memorial Day weekend since 2000.”
Over the holiday travel period, from Thursday, May 25 through Monday, May 29, nearly 3.4 million people are expected to board planes, according to AAA’s data. That’s 11 percent higher than in 2022. “This summer travel season could be one for the record books, especially at airports,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement. The group predicts that airports will be the busiest they’ve been over Memorial Day Weekend since 2005.
With so many people traveling, several destinations have risen to the top as most popular for the holiday, and metasearch site Skyscanner gathered the top nine destinations in the US, as well as five international destinations where Americans plan to wile away the long weekend.
Here’s where American tourists are planning on traveling over Memorial Day Weekend 2023—plus how to still get a deal on airfare if you haven’t booked yet.
Top domestic destinations
For the top domestic destinations, there was a 40 percent increase in airfare this year, according to AAA’s booking data. Unsurprisingly, warm-weather locales are trending for the holiday weekend, as well as a few major cities. Florida will be the most popular state with travelers, with three cities appearing in the top nine rankings.
The nine most popular US destinations for Memorial Weekend, according to Skyscanner, are:
Las Vegas, Nevada
New York, New York
Los Angeles, California
San Francisco, California
Top international destinations
This year, the number of international bookings is 250 percent higher compared to 2022, according to AAA. European cities are popular with travelers for the long weekend, but cities in Asia and beach escapes in Mexico are also drawing dollars from tourists.
The five most popular international destinations for Memorial Day Weekend, according to Skyscanner, are:
It’s not too late to still book cheap flights for Memorial Day Weekend
If you don’t have travel plans for the holiday weekend yet, it’s not too late to book flights and still get a deal. Our advice? If you’re flexible on your destination, search by Google Flights’ Explore map feature.
Simply input your travel dates and home airport into the tool’s search bar (leave the destination blank). Airfares will begin populating throughout the map, with the cheapest available on display. If you click the price, you can browse a variety of flights and fares from different airlines.
Searching flights from Friday, May 26 to Tuesday, May 30 we found several enticing options. From New York JFK, there were cheap nonstop flights to Los Angeles on Delta for $363 roundtrip, and round-trip flights to Cancun on American for $397 with a connection in Miami.
Out of Chicago O’Hare, affordable roundtrips to Las Vegas were still available for the long weekend on Delta for $240 with a connection in Minneapolis, as well as nonstop flights on American to San Juan for $502 roundtrip.
For fliers near Dallas-Fort Worth, you have the option to spend the holiday in New Orleans, thanks to nonstop flights on American for $218 roundtrip, or in Tampa by booking nonstops on American for $362 roundtrip.
Wherever you decide to travel, plan to arrive at the airport at least three hours before your departure to accommodate for the crowds and inevitable snaking lines.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler