Best Time to Book Memorial Day Travel

Staff Report

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

If you’re planning a Memorial Day getaway, AAA urges you to start finalizing your travel plans now, if you haven’t already. AAA Travel booking data shows that reservations for flights, rental cars, cruises and hotels for Memorial Day have more than doubled from last year.

“We’ve seen a notable increase in our travel bookings in early spring, which is a strong indication of what to expect for summer,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA- The Auto Club Group. “Despite inflation and higher gas prices, people want to travel and we believe they will find ways to do so without breaking their budget.”

Note- AAA's Memorial Day Travel Forecast (which includes the projected number of holiday travelers) will be published on May 17th.

Airfares – Best (and Worst) Time to Book for Memorial Day

When looking at the average costs of domestic airfare for each day over Memorial Day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday), flights are skewing about $160 more than last year.

AAA booking data shows the best time to purchase airfare is about two weeks before Memorial Day, with travelers paying an average of $445 per ticket. However, those travelers who wait to book the week of Memorial Day could end up paying almost twice as much. Flights reserved 28 – 60 days ahead of the holiday are averaging $470 each.

The most popular air travel day is Friday. Memorial Day is the lightest. In past years, the cheapest day to fly for Memorial Day weekend was consistently Saturday. This year, however, Saturday is the most expensive day to fly. Sunday offers the lowest airfare followed by Friday (an average price of $543 and $596, respectively).

“Considering the strong demand for travel this year, the best advice is to book your Memorial Day flights early,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “While you may pay a little more money up front, you will have more flight options to choose from than those who wait until a couple of weeks before the holiday.”

Think like an Early Bird

Travelers who want to get away for Memorial Day should start planning now. To maximize time, savings and alleviate stress, AAA recommends working with a trusted travel agent.

“Travel advisors are the industry experts with many resources at their disposal to help plan and organize a trip that fits a traveler’s specific needs and budget,” Haas continued. “They can easily look at a variety of options and scenarios to find deals and savings not always available to the public.”